Category Archives: Japanese

GIGO

A potty mouth is a force multiplier 病は口より入り禍は口より出ず (Yamai wa kuchi yori iri wazawai wa kuchi yori izu; “Disease enters from the mouth and disaster exits from the mouth”) Definition: Disease enters the body through your mouth when you eat … Continue reading

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I grind my bones to make my bread

粉骨砕身 fun.kotsu.sai.shin Literally: powder – bone – smash – body Alternately: To work as hard as you can. To give your all. In English we may work our fingers to the bone, but in Japanese you work until your bones … Continue reading

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Not applicable to salamanders

飛んで火に入る夏の虫 (Tonde hi ni iru natsu no mushi; “A summer bug that flies into a flame”) Definition: Continuing forward even though doing so means rushing, or at least preceding, headlong into danger. Recklessly inviting danger. “Like a moth to a … Continue reading

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Pretty words, pretty face, ugly heart

巧言令色 kou.gen.rei.shoku Literally: skill – word – command – color Alternately: Flattery. Blandishment. Pretty words and ingratiating facial expressions, usually backed by a desire to deceive or manipulate. Making nice with someone but hiding ill intent. Notes: This yojijukugo comes … Continue reading

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Nosce te ipsum

彼を知り己を知れば百戦殆うからず (Kare wo shiri onore wo shireba hyakusen ayaukarazu; “When you know your opponent and yourself, you need not fear a hundred battles.”) Definition: If you know the strengths, weaknesses, and situation of yourself, your allies, and your foes, then … Continue reading

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No words, but four characters

言語道断 gon.go.dou.dan Literally: say – language – road – sever Alternately: Outrageous; scandalous; inexcusable; absurd; unreasonable; terrible; something so far beyond the pale that you don’t even have words to describe how crazy it is. Mostly used for bad things. … Continue reading

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Please be true please be true please be true

天知る地知る我知る人知る (Ten shiru chi shiru ware shiru hito shiru; “Heaven knows; earth knows; oneself knows; people know”) Definition: Secrets and crimes will eventually come to light. Even if you think something is completely hidden, the gods of the heavens and … Continue reading

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