Urgent news straight from the source!

Here’s another flatulence-related saying! Enjoy!

屁と火事は元から騒ぐ
(He to kaji wa moto kara sawagu;
“Farts and fires make noise from the source”)

Definition:

The one who caused a problem often complains about it the most. “The one who smelt it, dealt it.” The person who passed gas is often the first and loudest to complain about a smell, and the person or household that caused a fire (for example, by letting their cooking-fire get out of control) is often the one that makes the most fuss about there being a fire.

Breakdown:

We begin with our main noun from last week, (he, like “heh”), a fart. It is joined by the conjunctive particle (to, like “toe”) to compound noun 火事 (kaji), “conflagration” – literally, “fire thing.” These are collectively signaled to be the topic of discussion by the topic marker (wa).

Next we get the noun (moto), “origin,” “source,” “foundation.” The particle から (kara) marks it as the start or origin point of something. And finally, that something is given as the verb 騒ぐ (sawagu), in sentence-final form. Sawagu has a range of related meanings, but relevant to this context are “to make noise” and “to panic,” “to make a fuss.”

Notes:

Not a lot to add on this. There are a couple of variations on this saying with the same meaning. There are a surprising number of further fart-related sayings and idiomatic expressions as well, but any more than two would probably be pushing my luck. I leave the rest as an exercise to the reader.

Example sentence:

「え~、臭っ!誰かおならした?」 「太郎や、屁と火事は元から騒ぐって言うんじゃない? 」 「ああ...」

(“Eee, kusa’! Dareka onara shita?” “Tarou ya, he to kaji wa moto kara sawagu tte iun ja nai?” “Aa….”)

[“Egh, that reeks! Did someone fart?” “Tarou, don’t they say that ‘The one who smelt it dealt it‘?” “Ah….”]

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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