Home Japanese Language 10 Humorous Japanese Phrases and Proverbs for On a regular basis Conditions

10 Humorous Japanese Phrases and Proverbs for On a regular basis Conditions

10 Humorous Japanese Phrases and Proverbs for On a regular basis Conditions


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When you’re attempting to get the dangle of Japanese, a proverb or two from Japan can assist you choose up genuine language abilities whereas retaining you motivated. Japanese proverbs also can present a foreigner with some perception into Japanese tradition and humor.

On this publish, you can see 10 humorous Japanese proverbs for on a regular basis conditions, their meanings and the way they’re used.


This Japanese proverb is often known as “Dumplings somewhat than flowers.” That is used to explain somebody who prefers substance over trinkets and tends to be extra sensible in what they get pleasure from as an alternative of showy.

Or possibly somebody who simply actually likes dumplings.

For instance, are you aware somebody who doesn’t get actually excited over a bouquet of roses or jewellery as a present, however will get fairly pumped over a brand new instrument set or artwork provides? They’re undoubtedly a “dumplings over roses” form of particular person.

When you’re not specific about both, you would possibly simply be a rose dumpling type of particular person. Yum.

The psychological picture this Japanese proverb tasks isn’t fairly. Neither is having to listen to the identical factor again and again.

In Japan, to “develop a callus in your ear” signifies that you’re sick of listening to the identical factor over and over to the purpose that your ears construct protecting tissue to dam out the nonsense.

Bear in mind while you had been a child and your mother reminded you 10 occasions a day to wash your room? Likelihood is your ears constructed up a metaphorical callus to listening to the identical request again and again. Hopefully, you cleaned your room.

This Japanese proverb is much like the English proverb “one would possibly as properly be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.” Each idioms are primarily excusing a bigger wrongdoing or dangerous selection when one smaller wrongdoing or dangerous selection has already been dedicated.

Right here’s an instance. It’s January. Your New 12 months’s decision is to go on a weight-reduction plan. You start the morning of January 1 with a giant sugary donut. As a substitute of consuming more healthy all through the day, you hand over and have pizza for lunch because you already screwed up.

You realize, this isn’t precisely the perfect recommendation on this listing of proverbs…

Ah sure, good outdated Japanese fart humor.

This Japanese proverb refers to 1’s remaining resort in a troublesome scenario. For our pricey mink, it’s one final fart to get its attacker to go away or not it’s.

Let’s say you ordered a field of blue hairpins on Amazon. When the field arrives, it’s stuffed with yellow hairpins. You contact Amazon. Amazon sends a substitute. The substitute is equally incorrect. Your final resort is to threaten to sue Amazon. This may be you, the weasel, utilizing your final fart.

As a girl, I’ll say this proverb is truthful. Nevertheless, there’s a little bit of wordplay on this proverb that you simply may not choose up on should you’re not a local speaker.

The kanji for 姦 (かん) – “noisy” consists of three of the kanji for 女 (おんな) – “lady.” 三 (さん) – “three” can also be used within the proverb, making the entire thing one large pun and play on written phrases.

There isn’t actually a lot of a situational instance for this proverb. When three girlfriends get collectively, there’s often some boisterous laughter. As there needs to be!

There are frenemies. There are enemies. After which there are tremendous enemies.

A “dog-and-monkey” relationship is the Japanese saying for 2 individuals who completely despise one another and all people is aware of it. The closest English proverb to this Japanese proverb could be to explain two individuals as “a pair that fights like cats and canines.”

Let’s say your mother-in-law doesn’t approve of your marriage to her daughter. You don’t approve of her perspective. Neither of you communicate to one another, ever, apart from passive-aggressive remarks at household reunions over egg salad. You’re each on “dog-and-monkey” phrases.

Apparently sufficient, the Chinese language zodiac says that canines and monkeys do nice collectively.

This Japanese proverb can also be learn as “like washing potatoes.” The English equal could be “packed like sardines.”

Everybody’s been caught in a packed crowd earlier than. In Japan, crowds can get fairly loopy within the metropolis. This proverb is relating the looks of a barrel of potatoes (the normal technique to wash potatoes in Japan is in a bin or barrel) to the congestion of a big crowd.

“That Britney Spears live performance was so crowded, it was like washing potatoes!”

This Japanese expression describes a gaggle of people that have very comparable strengths, talents and abilities, all of that are often not that spectacular. Anybody in that group who tries to outdo one other particular person within the group could be like an acorn evaluating itself to a different acorn. Acorns are often all the identical, small measurement.

Loser 1: “I acquired a 33% on the examination.”

Loser 2: “I acquired a 34%, I’m a lot smarter than you!”

Onlooker: “Ah, it’s like acorns evaluating peak.”

When was the final time you noticed a snake with legs? Snakes get round fairly properly with out little ft, making the thought of “snake legs” fairly ineffective. This expression signifies that one thing is especially pointless, ineffective or probably harmful.

This expression in all probability got here from an historic Chinese language proverb with an identical that means.

Did you ever have a battle with a associate or sibling while you stated that one factor that simply went too far? It will be a “snake legs” comment.

Are you aware an individual who’s significantly privileged? Grew up wealthy, by no means had a job as a younger grownup, acquired a free experience by way of faculty and was just about handed a job by their household’s connections?

Or possibly somebody who married a wealthy particular person and doesn’t do something all day? It’s seemingly that such an individual by no means needed to elevate a finger and work onerous.

This Japanese proverb describes this type of particular person. When the heaviest factor you’ve ever lifted is chopsticks, you’re not precisely a hard-working particular person. An English equal could be to say somebody was “born with a silver spoon of their mouth”.


Are you feeling impressed by these hilarious however too-true proverbs? If you wish to uncover different attention-grabbing proverbs attempt watching genuine movies with the educational program FluentU.

Watching movies with native audio system and interactive subtitles, in addition to personalised quizzes can assist take your studying to the subsequent degree. FluentU is offered on each internet and cellular (Android and iOS). 


Each tradition has their very own proverbs and witty sayings, however Japan has a number of the most attention-grabbing ones on the market. Why not attempt sharing a few of these proverbs to impress your mates together with your Japanese and unfold slightly tradition round?