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Japanese idioms part II (The Human Body)


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Hey everyone! I continue such a huge theme of Japanese language as idiomatic phrases. Today I`d like to talk about idioms that contain parts of human body.

1) To rest on one`a laures, to be complacent - あぐらをかく [agura o kaku] (literally: to sit crosslegged)

A: どうせもう対立する相手はいないだろうと思って、いつまで社長の座にあぐらをかいていられると思ったら大間違いだ。

[doosemoo tairitsusuru aite wa inai daroo to omotte, itsumade shachoo no za ni agura o kaiteirareru to omottara oomachigai da]

You think you have no competitors; but it`s a mistake to believe that you can sit forever in the company`s president`s position and rest on your laurels.

2) To exploit someone`s weakness in negotiation - 足もとを見る [ashimoto o miru] (literally: to look at someone`s feet)


[kinoo wa taihen datta. nakagawa to ni zikan de nonzyattesa. kaeri no takusii ne. ashimoto o mirarwtyatte, takusiidai, zuibun torareta n da.]

Last night was a disaster. I ended up drinking with Nakagawa until two in the morning. And of course, the taxi driver took advantage of my condition and overcharged me like crazy.

3) To start over (after discarding a bad situation) - 足を洗う [ashi o arau] (literally: to wash one`s feet)


[ichido furyoo nakama ni haittara, nakanaka nuke dasenai mono da. Yakuza no sekai to onaji de, aru shuudan ni nakamari site simau to ningen wa kantan ni wa asi o araenai mono dearu.]

When a man becomes a member of a gang, it`s very difficult to break away from it. As in the case of the world of yakuza, once you`re a part of it, it is not easy thing to go straight.

Ok, if you need more idioms, please, don`t hesitate ask in comments. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's just a couple more to add to the list:

鼻が高い - Hana ga takai (to be proud) lit. nose is tall

口が軽い - Kuchi ga karui (to gossip, to be loose with talking) lit. mouth is light

腹がたつ - hara ga tatsu (to be angry) lit. stomach/belly stands

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