A galling surfeit of gall


Literally: big – liver/gallbladder / courage – non – enemy

Alternately: Being, or at least acting, completely unafraid. Acting as confident as someone without any (meaningful) enemies.

Notes: This is another compound comprising two near-synonyms. 大胆 is “brave(ry),” while 不敵 isn’t so much a lack of antagonists, as it is a state of being bold enough to not even acknowledge or recognize your enemies as enemies.

Although the phrase itself is relatively neutral, it may be used to obliquely criticize those whose courage mostly seems to spring from an overabundance of self-confidence or self-assertion.

Note that this phrase, and several related ones, come from an archaic belief that the liver (which contains the gallbladder) was the seat of not just courage, but of the soul itself, within the human body.


Crayon Shin-Chan? Oh, yes.

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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