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Japanese Idioms





The Japanese language is filled with idioms of all sorts, from classical references from ancient Chinese to modern colloquialisms used by college students and young salaryman. Whether you are traveling to Japan for fun or on business, or are living there, you'll find idioms indispensible to understanding and using the daily language. Browse below to find the ones you want or simply explore the many possible ways to express yourself in Japanese.



そう言えば
[そういえば, sou ieba] speaking of that...; on that subject...; now that you mention it...

そうでなければ、首をやる
[そうでなければ、くびをやる, sou denakereba, kubi o yaru] I’ll be hanged if it’s not true

底抜け上戸
[そこぬけじょうご, soko-nuke jougo] insatiable drinker

底をつく
[そこをつく, soko o tsuku] run out; reach the bottom

袖にする
[そでにする, sode ni suru] jilt; give someone the cold shoulder; leave in the lurch

袖の下
[そでのした, sode no shita] bribe

袖を連ねる
[そでをつらねる, sode o tsuraneru] go along

袖をとらえる
[そでをとらえる, sode o toraeru] buttonhole a person

その日暮らし
[そのひぐらし, sono hi gurashi] a hand to mouth existence

そのまま
[そのまま, sono mama] as is, just like that

空の涙
[そらのなみだ, sora no namida] crocodile tears

それどころか
[それどころか, sore dokoro ka] on the contrary


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