5 most used idioms in Japanese

開いた口が塞がらない | aita kuchi ga fusagara nai

This phrase literally translates to "the opened mouth doesn't close," and it's used when something is so surprising or shocking that one is left speechless. It's similar to the English idiom "my jaw hit the floor."

「 開いた口が塞がらないわ。」
"Taisetsu na kaigi de torishimariyaku tachi ga neochi shitatte?! "
"Aita kuchi ga fusagara nai wa."
“The board members fell asleep during an important meeting?!"
"I’m speechless.”

足並みをそろえる | ashinami wo soroeru

This phrase directly translates to "align one's steps" and is used when people coordinate their actions or opinions to work together more effectively. It's similar to the English phrases "get on the same page" or "march to the same beat."

"Kono purojekuto no seikou wa, chiimu zen'in ga ashinami o soroete doryoku suru koto de shika tassei dekimasen."
"The success of this project can only be achieved if the entire team unites and puts forth a concerted effort."

足を引っ張る | ashi wo hipparu

This literally translates to "pull someone's leg." In usage, it means to hinder or obstruct someone's progress. It's often used in situations where a person's actions or lack thereof are causing problems for a group or team.

「Kiita? Suzuki-san ga mata Bakansu ni iku rashii yo」
「Ehh、purojekuto no saichuni? Itsumo taisetsu na toki ni ashi wo hipparundakara。」
"Did you hear? It seems Suzuki-san is going on vacation again."
"What?! in the middle of the project? He always drags us down at the most crucial times."

腹(腑)に落ちる | hara(fu) ni ochiru

Literally, this phrase translates to "fall into the stomach." It is used to express the moment of understanding or comprehension, similar to when we say, "It clicked" or "It dawned on me" in English.

「初めて聞いた時は理解できなかったが、何度も説明を聞いてようやく*腹に落ちた。」* or 腑に落ちた
"Hajimete kiita toki wa rikai dekinakatta ga, nando mo setsumei o kiite youyaku *hara ni ochita." *or fu ni ochita.
"At first, I didn't understand when I heard it, but after listening to the explanation many times, it finally clicked."
"Fu" means guts. bile, stomach, intestines, etc. -> The heart. The bottom of the heart.

耳にたこができる | mimi ni tako ga dekiru

This phrase literally means "to get a corn in one's ear," but is used to express the idea of hearing something so many times that one grows tired of it. It's similar to the English phrase "to have something up to here." ("The word 'tako' means 'calluses' in English. Interestingly, in Japanese, the homonym 'tako' also means 'octopus'.")

"Sono CM wa rajio de nando mo nagarete, mou mimi ni tako ga dekita."
"That commercial has been played on the radio so many times, I'm already tired of hearing it."

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0 thoughts on “Japanese language lesson: Body Part Idioms

  1. Dear we-japan.com webmaster, Keep up the good work!

    1. We Language School says:

      Thank you, Eenesto-san! Your invaluable wording elevates our team of We Languages!

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