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Body Idioms Part III

chiyon's picture


Continuing from last time, let's look at a few more body idioms in Japanese.



This literally means to “pull (someone’s) leg(s)”.


I’ve heard that "to pull one's leg" means “to tease” in English, but that's not the Japanese meaning for this idiom.

When you do something or you don’t do something that slows someone or drags someone down, you say

watashi wa, rire- de hashiru noga osokatta node, chi-mu no ashi o hippatta.

Because I was a slow runner, I caused my team trouble.   


watashi ga yasumu koto ni yotte, shokuba no hito tachi no ashi o hipparitakunai.

I don’t want to drag down the people at work by being absent.

I always feel like I’m dragging someone down (誰かの足を引っ張っている ), because I’m always a goof. ^^;




This literally means to “sandwich something between your small ears”. (like other idioms, you can’t do that actually ^^)

When you happen to overhear something and that information may or may not be accurate, you say 小耳に挟む.



kanojo ga nihon he iku toiu uwasa o komimi ni hasanda.

I happened to overhear the rumor that she is going to Japan.



anata ga komimi ni hasanda hanashi wa, hontou dewa nai.

The story you overheard isn’t true.

I’ve heard (小耳に挟んだことがある) that the chairman of Toyota, Okuda says "変わろうとしている人の足を引っ張るな。" (Don’t drag someone down who is trying to make changes (for the better)).

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RayMasaki's picture

New advanced

I love this page at least im learning new
words/Idioms & some advanced stuff.
Most sites out there only teach you easy stuff
for Beginners, everything is all basic expressions
and Greetings.

SS's picture

おはようございます、ちーよんさん。 気恥ずかしい!


Awww, awww, awww, that was a good example when I was extremely tired. The answers were in my L2 book, yet I still got them wrong!! Thank you for the correction.

chiyon's picture


No problem at all.
Please don’t be ashamed on you. (>_< )ヾ(^^ ) ヨシヨシ
I feel bad because I seem to point that you are wrong ごめんなさい。^^;
But I think it was a good chance to learn.
My English is terrible.
Please correct me when I’m wrong or there are more natural way to say, thanks~.
Don’t be afraid to have mistakes!
Let’s learn together~. ^^

SS's picture

Thank you very much. Your

Thank you very much.

Your English is good. Not at all terrible as you said. :)

SS's picture

I thought Chiyonさん was

I thought Chiyonさん was supposed to answer. ^^;

By the way, thank you for the English translation, it's really interesting.

1) 自慢しすぎる。→ 鼻が高い
2) 同じ事が続いて飽きていやになる。→ 鼻にかける。 
3) 誇りに思う。 →  鼻につく

But, I don't know how to use them. ^^;

Happy 2009!

chiyon's picture


hmmm, I thought


3)誇りに思う→鼻が高い(be proud)

How to use are the example sentences on those links.
And please look up 日本語の玉手箱partⅠfor how to use 3), too.
For 1) and 2), I’m going to write about them soon.
Looking forward to them~~.

SS's picture

Body idioms

Chiyon san, thank you for posting these 慣用句。
From 顔、目、耳、鼻、ロ、舌、歯、首、手、足、they form interesting idioms. I wish I know their meanings and apply in conversation with my friends. ^_^

Let you guess three of these:

1) 自慢しすぎる。
2) 同じ事が続いて飽きていやになる。
3) 誇りに思う

I learned these from JLPT2 問題集, hint - all start with 鼻.


chiyon's picture

Body idioms

ssさん ^^
Thank you for your comment.
I wish other people would try to guess and post them, too.
So, I guess.....
If you translate those directly into English,

1) hang on one's nose
2) get into one's nose
3) one's nose is high

Are they correct? (In Enlgish and in Japanese)
And what do you think those in Japanese~?

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