Category Archives: Yojijukugo

Pride cometh

Every castle is undefeated… for some while! 難攻不落 nan.kou.fu.raku Literally: difficult – attack – not – fall Alternately: Nigh impervious to assault. Difficult even to attack, much less to actually bring down, like a near-impregnable castle. By extension, a situation … Continue reading

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Seal up your lips, and give no words

But mum! 他言無用 ta.gon.mu.you Literally: other – say – no – use Alternately: “Don’t talk about this to anyone.” “Loose lips sink ships.” Notes: 言 may also be pronounced gen. In contrast to the aphoristic nature of most yojijukugo, this … Continue reading

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A long and winding situation

紆余曲折 u.yo.kyoku.setsu Literally: crouch – too much – bend – fold / fracture Alternately: 紆余 refers to something, especially a road, being full of twists and turns. 曲折 similarly refers to something being bent or zig-zag. Put them together and … Continue reading

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Pricier than formula and sunscreen!

(Just a reminder: hi is pronounced like “hee”) 乳母日傘 on.ba.hi.gasa Literally: milk / breast – mother – sun – umbrella Alternately: Raising a child with the utmost care. By extension, coddling and excess in child-rearing. Raising hothouse children. From the … Continue reading

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Helioseismology burp?

日進月歩 ni-.sshin.ge-.ppo Literally: day – advance – month – walk Alternately: Steady progress. A relatively smooth and rapid advance, especially of improvement or development in a positive direction. Notes: This compound has a surprising construction. In general, 日X月Y means something … Continue reading

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Put some feelings into it!

Also chutzpah. And coriander. 感情移入 kan.jou.i.nyuu Literally: emotion – feelings – shift – enter Alternately: Empathy. The ability to sense and share in the feelings of others. Alternatively, the tendency to project one’s own perception of emotions onto a work … Continue reading

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No relation to Indian spices

Or to gum! 我武者羅 ga.mu.sha.ra Literally: oneself – warrior – person – gauze Alternately: Fixated on a goal to the point of blinding oneself to everything else. Charging ahead without looking to see what else is coming or what lies … Continue reading

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