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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.



使い道
[つかいみち, tsukai-michi] use; useful

突っ込んだ
[つっこんだ, tsukkonda] sharp, thorough, penetrating

爪弾きもの
[つまはじきもの, tsuma hajiki no] reject; refugee

爪で拾って身でこぼす
[つめでひろってみでこぼす, tsume de hirotte mi de kobosu] little gain at great cost

爪に灯火を灯す
[つめにともしびをともす, tsume ni tomoshibi o tomosu] lead a stingy life

爪の垢ほどない
[つめのあかほどない, tsume no aka hodo nai] have nothing dishonest in one’s conduct or behavior

爪の垢を煎じて飲む
[つめのあかをせんじてのむ, tsume no aka o senjite nomu] I am unworthy


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