Japanese Idiom: Even a Dog Wont Eat


Photo by roboppy on Flickr

Today’s idiom expresses reaction to a suggestion or situation that seems highly unlikely. And for anyone who owns a dog you’ll know why.

inu mo kuwanai – 犬も食わない

If you’re looking to express your feelings in a way that says you don’t take something very seriously, you can use the Japanese idiom inu mo kuwanai which basically gives the feeling that the intended outcome is highly unlikely. Just like finding something that a dog won’t eat.

To me it has some similarity to one of my most disliked English idioms – that dog wont hunt. It’s a way of expressing that what was said doesn’t make any sense or no one is going to take it seriously.

Here’s an example sentence from the book 2001 Japanese and English Idioms:

Kimitachi wa tsumaranai koto de koron shite iru keredo, inu mo kuwanai yo.


You’re arguing over something trivial, so nobody will take it seriously (a dog won’t eat it).

Have fun using this idiom and let us know if you know more about it!

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