At first glance, today’s idiom is hard one to decipher. What exactly are hellish ears anyway? Enter…and all will be revealed.
jigokumimi – 地獄耳
The best way to decipher the Japanese idiom “hellish ears” is to compare it to the English idiom of having a “nose for news”. It’s almost identical in meaning (funny how that is). It means a person is particularly good at picking up information and is very keen at knowing what is going on around them.
I also get a kick out of the literal translation of the kanji as – ground prison ear.
Here’s an example sentence from the book 2001 Japanese and English Idioms:
Kare wa jigokumimi dakara, ki o tsukenassai.
Be careful around him: he has hellish ears.
As usual, let us know if you’ve ever heard or used this idiom before.
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