Archive for 'Idioms'

Japanese Idiom: To Vomit Mud

Photo Credit: Daniel Conway via

Photo Credit: Daniel Conway

While talking to a friend, she mentioned that the Japanese will sometimes day they “slept like mud” after a particularity hard sleep. That got me thinking about other “mud” idioms that the Japanese have. I don’t know if you’ll be happy that I found this one :P

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Japanese Idiom: Hold Someone’s Drum

Photo Credit: hank_rhoads

Photo Credit: hank_rhoads

I’m sure you’re familiar with the English idiom “to beat one’s own drum”, and at first inspection I thought this Japanese idiom was the same thing. But while there’s some similarities, the results are much different.

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Japanese Idiom: Start with a Dragon end with a Snake

Photo Credit: Christopher Chan

Photo Credit: Christopher Chan

At first glance, I had no idea what this Japanese idiom was about. Can you guess what it is? :)

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Japanese Idiom: Pour Water into the Ear

Photo Credit: Maʝicdölphin

Photo Credit: Maʝicdölphin

Here’s another funny Japanese idiom – to pour water into the ear of someone sleeping.

Can you guess what it means? It probably means you need to find better friends :)

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Japanese Idiom: Snakes Know Another Snake’s Path

Photo Credit: Dakiny

Photo Credit: Dakiny

Here’s a fun idiom to describe a rather slippery character. It reminds me of a similar English idiom “he’s a snake in the grass”, but this Japanese idiom has a bit more to do with comparing one snake to another.

Let’s take a look!

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Japanese Idiom: Turn Your Body into Powder

Photo Credit: CEBImagery.com.

Photo Credit: CEBImagery.com.

Here’s another fun Japanese idiom that doesn’t really have an English counterpart – to turn one’s body into powder.

Let’s see what it means!

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Japanese Idiom: To Crack a Star

Photo by Skiwalker on Flickr

Photo by Skiwalker on Flickr

This is one of the more unusual idioms that I’ve found and we don’t really have a comparable English one. The idiom is around cracking a star and the meaning is not what you think.

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Japanese Idiom: The Crying Signboard

Photo by tokyoform on Flickr

Photo by tokyoform on Flickr

Today’s idiom paints a fun mental picture and is uniquely Japanese. So what exactly is a crying signboard?

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Japanese Idiom: To Mix Like Water & Oil

oil and water

Photo by Bill Gracey on Flickr

The Japanese idiom we’re going to look at today is also very similar to an English idiom of expressing when two things or people cannot seem to mix or get along. It’s called water and oil.

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Japanese Idiom: To Eat Cold Rice

rice bowl

Photo by el patojo on Flickr

We have an idiom in English when we do something stupid and have to face the consequences, it’s called being in the doghouse. The Japanese have a something similar, except it has to do with the temperature of your rice :)

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