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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.



睡魔が襲う
[すいまがおそう, suima ga osou] fall asleep suddenly; nod off; suffer a nap attack

姿を隠す
[すがたをかくす, sugata o kakusu] disappear

好きにする
[すきにする, suki ni suru] do as you like

寿司詰めの
[すしづめの, sushizume no] packed like sardines

雀の涙
[すずめのなみだ, suzume no namida] a very small quantity

捨てたもんじゃない
[すてたもんじゃない, suteta mon ja nai] nothing to sneeze at be

砂を噛む
[すなをかむ, suna o kamu] have an unpleasant experience

脛一本、腕一本
[すねいっぽん、うでいっぽん, sune ippon, ude ippon] be entirely on one’s own

脛に傷
[すねにきず, sune ni kizu] have a guilty conscience


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