Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Eating Grass

Here is an amusing expression. When you want someone to do something straight away, without wasting time, go straight home, don't take a detour or waste time on the way to look at flowers, this is what you can use (in the negative of course).

Japanese: 道草を食う
Reading: michikusa wo kuu
Meaning: to loiter (on the way); to waste time
Literally: eat the grass on the side of the road

Somehow, this makes me imagine a cow standing on the side of the road, chewing on some grass, and this amuses me. Sue me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Proof of Study!

We all know Japanese people work hard, study hard and do even party hard and there are a few words in the language that show it. Some of which I already talked about in the past. This one is a nice one, pointing at the "study hard" category. I was asked if this word exist in English and couldn't quite tell, I have never heard of it but I'm not a native English speaker.
Anyway, the word is:

Japanese: ペン胼胝
Reading: pen dako
Meaning: the callus one develops on one middle finger after writing A LOT.
Literally: pen callus

I also developed this pen callus sometimes when I was in school, but not enough times to actually have the need to invent a word for it.
There is a similar word, that refers to the traditional Japanese sitting habits.

Japanese: 座り胼胝
Reading: suwari dako
Meaning: calluses (on one's ankles, insteps, etc.) caused by sitting seiza
Literally: sitting callus

I don't have those sitting calluses, since I can't even sit seiza for more than a minute :P
And it has been long since I actually used a pencil/pen, so my fingers are callus-free!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Insulting a Sea Horse

So how do they say Seahorse in Japanese? I found it quite interesting...

Japanese: 竜の落し子
Reading: tatsu no otoshigo
Meaning: seahorse
Literally: the illegitimate son of the noble Dragon, or more simply put, a Dragon's bastard child!

I wonder who was the mother.
A fish? I can't quite imagine a fish "doing it" with a dragon, but a whale and a dragon would probably not give birth to such a small creature. mmm... the mystery remains.