Archives for category: Word of the Day

Means “Precisely because”. The clause following usually expresses regret or some other unhappy emotion.

need to know this for JLPT N2 grammar

田中選手が今シーズン活躍するのを楽しみに待っていただけに彼の怪我のニュースを見て驚いた。
As I was really looking forward to seeing Tanaka actively playing this season, I was surprised when I saw on the news that he got injured.

 

うける!

Recently, I’ve noticed うける popping up in comments responding to funny photos posted online. So the question is, how did a word that means “receive” come to take on its LOL connotation?

In English, we say that a good stage performance, for instance, was “well-received” or that it “received accolades”. Similarly, in Japanese, we can say「(客から)拍手・喝采をうける」(to receive applause and cheers from the audience). Thus, うける first came to apply to things that are generally “well-received”.

例:最近はペットの面白い画像を扱ったブログがうけるようだ。
Ex: Recently, it seems that blogs with interesting videos of pets have become popular.

Then, in the late ’80s, people started using うける to mean something they personally liked. うける became more like 笑える(that’s funny) or 面白い(that’s interesting). Thus, うける came to apply to “personal,” as opposed to “general,” preferences.

例:アンタの顔、チョーうけるー
Ex: Your face is hilarious.

And that’s the うける I came across when stalking people’s pictures!

Examples & history from Japanese Slang Dictionary:
http://zokugo-dict.com/03u/ukeru.htm

歯が立たないはがたたない
[to be unable to sink one’s teeth into something]
too much for someone/be more than one can cope with
相手が自分の技量をはるかに超えていて、とても取り組めない。
(your opponent far surpasses you in ability and is very difficult to handle)

例文:
1. その仕事は私には歯が立たない
The job is too difficult for me.

2. 私なんか彼にはとうてい歯が立たない
I am no match for him.

3. テニスでは、彼に歯が立ちません。
As far as tennis is concerned, I am no match for him.

4. 歯が立たない強敵 insuperable foe
歯が立たない難問 unsolvable perplexity

Examples from
http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/dsearch?enc=UTF-8&p=%E6%AD%AF&dtype=3&dname=2na&stype=0&index=03375900&pagenum=11
http://kotobank.jp/word/%E6%AD%AF%E3%81%8C%E7%AB%8B%E3%81%9F%E3%81%AA%E3%81%84
Barron’s Japanese Idioms

Recently came across Barron’s Japanese Idioms book at my school library- will upload my blog with idiom regularly. definitions taken from book and yahoo jisho. Japanese definition from zokugo-dict.

油を売るあぶらをうる [to sell oil]
to goof off; to loaf; waste time in idle conversation; dawdle
仕事の途中で無駄話をすること。

例:あの人は仕事をするより、油を売るのが得意です。He’s better at goofing off than working

To read about the origins:
http://zokugo-dict.com/01a/aburawouru.htm

 

http://static.clubt.jp/image/product/S0000035092/6761758.jpg

When I googled やさぐれる I got a lot of cat pictures for some reason...

 

意味:すねること、自暴自棄になること。
To sulk/be peevish; to become desperate out of hopelessness

やさぐれるとは家出や家出人を意味する『やさぐれ』に俗語によくある名詞を動詞化する接尾語『る』をつけたもので、当初は家出することを意味した。しかし、やさぐれるは『やさぐれ』と同じく『はまぐれ』から派生した『ぐれる』と取り違えられるようになり、「すねる」「自暴自棄になる」といった意味になった。
「やさぐれる」 is the verbalization of 「やさぐれ」which means “runaway child” and originally it simply meant “to run away from home.” However, in time, it became confused with 「ぐれる」which means “to stray from the right path” and thus took on its present meaning.

http://zokugo-dict.com/36ya/yasagureru.htm

 

The cover of this idiom book demonstrates what 画竜点睛 literally means

 

 

画竜点睛 is a four-character idiom in both Chinese and Japanese which means “to add finishing touches” and “completing by executing the final, critical step”. Here they are in their Traditional Chinese characters and Japanese kanji forms:

畫龍點睛
Bopomofo: ㄏㄨㄚˋ ㄌㄨㄥˊ ㄉㄧㄢˇ ㄐㄧㄥ
Hanyu Pinyin: hua4 long2 dian3 jing1

画竜点睛
がりゅうてんせい

If you break this idiom down character-by-character, what you get is “draw dragon dot eyes”. So how does the relate to “finishing touches”???

According to the Taiwan Ministry of Education, this idiom means:
畫了龍後,為其點上眼睛,龍便乘雲飛去。比喻繪畫、作文時在最重要之處加上一筆,使全體更加生動傳神。
“After one draws (畫/画) a dragon (龍/竜), one draws (點/点) the eyes (睛), and the dragon then flies above the clouds. In terms of drawing and writing, this means adding a stroke to the most important part, making the work more vivid or lifelike.”
NOTE: in Chinese, 點 or 点 means to touch the paper lightly with pen, producing a dot (the eyes)

But why eyes??
According to legend, a famous ancient Chinese artist (張僧繇- zhang1 seng1 you2, ちょうそうよう) had painted dragons without eyes on the wall of a temple. When asked why he wouldn’t paint in the eyes, he replied “the eyes of a dragon are where its spirit is. All other parts are merely parts of the physical body. Once I paint eyes, the dragon will fly away, soaring above clouds”. Unsatisfied with this explanation, people challenged the artist’s claim. Reluctantly, 張僧繇 drew in the eyes of one dragon. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew forth and a bolt of lightning flashed and, just as the artist had warned, a real dragon emerged from the wall and flew into the sky.

Drawing the eyes on a dragon gives it the ability to soar in the sky just as giving a piece of work the final, culminating touches lend to the work its spirit and soul.

In Japanese, 画竜点睛 can be used in the construction: 画竜点睛を欠く(がりゅうてんせいをかく)which means “to lack the most crucial part”.

Links:
http://dict.idioms.moe.edu.tw/pho/cy/cy00383.htm
http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/6/3/26/n1267171.htm

1. 違和感(いわかん)feeling of discomfort
2. 吐息(といき)sigh; long breath
3. 荒い(あらい)rough; rude; wild
4. 目安(めやす)criteria
5.  不規則(ふきそく)irregular
6. 物足りない(ものたりない)unsatisfactory
7. 発揮(はっき)show; manifest; display
8. 耐久力(たいきゅうりょく)stamina
9. いちゃつく flirt
10.  ほぐす to ease/relax
11. 喚く(わめく)to scream
12. 論外(ろんがい)out of question
13. 気兼ね(きがね)hesitance
14. このほど now; these days
15. 日曜学校(にちようがっこう)Sunday School
16. 風船(ふうせん)balloon
17. 近頃(ちかごろ)lately
18. 一言居士(いちげんこじ)person ready to comment on everything; ready critic
19. 一衣帯水(いちいたいすい)being separated by only a narrow strip of water
20.  悪戦苦闘(あくせんくとう)fighting against heavy odds