Tag Archives: large small

Fly, cow, fly; cow, fly, cow

蚊虻走牛 bun.bou.sou.gyuu Literally: mosquito – horsefly – run – cow Alternately: Something powerful being defeated by something weak; the great overthrown by the small. Literally, a cow being driven to run away by the onslaught of tiny biting flies. Alternatively, … Continue reading

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Ambition is for the birds

燕雀安くんぞ鴻鵠の志を知らんや (Enjaku izukunzo koukoku no kokorozashi wo shiran ya; “How could the swallow or sparrow understand the goose or swan?”) Definition: People of lowly character or small ability don’t, and can’t, understand the thought processes and ambitions of those with … Continue reading

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Now I’m caught on the phrase “ear-spoon.”

Counterpoint: 杓子は耳掻きにならず (Shakushi wa mimikaki ni narazu; “A ladle can not be used as an ear-spoon.”) Definition: This saying directly opposes last week’s 大は小を兼ねる. It declares that a larger thing can not necessarily fulfill the role of a smaller one, … Continue reading

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