Saturday, April 15, 2006

His hand is fast...!?

There are a lot of idioms using a part of the body.

Today, I’m introducing you some idioms with “hand”.
Hand is " (te)" in Japanese.

手を貸す (te o kasu)
“To lend one’s hand”
This means…
“To help someone”.

(te o kashite kurenai?)
“Can you help me?”

手が早い (te ga hayai)
“The hand is fast”
This means…
“To have relationships with women right away”.

(kare wa te ga hayai kara ki o tsukete!)
“He wants to have relationships with girls easily. Be careful!”

手が焼ける (te ga yakeru)
“The hand is burnt”
This means…
“It’s difficult to take care of someone.”
“To have a lot of trouble to take care of someone”

(watashi no hisho wa shippai bakaride te ga yakeru yo)
“My secretary makes mistakes very often. I have a lot of trouble with him/her.”

Do you have similar idioms or expressions in your language, too?


  1. Aaron8:58 AM

    OF course, and very similar. In spanish we sometimes say "Me hechas una mano?" which means "Can u lend me a hand?"
    Hand = mano in spanish.
    And for guys that wanna touch girls very fast we are calling them "mano larga" This literally means LONG HAND.
    And one more i can remember is "Estamos a mano". This is similar to "We are even".

  2. As Aaron said, there are a lot of those phrases in spanish, but also mentioned the phrase we use alot in english "can you lend me a hand?"

    Another one in English is "Stop pulling my leg!" which means kind of like "Stop joking/lying to me". I guess the closest equivalent to that is when in Japanese you blurt out "Uso!" when you hear something that sounds too good to be true.

    This one I'm not sure if it fits, but you sometimes here "My ears are burning." This is kind of like when in Japanese you sneeze because someone is talking about you. When you say "my ears are burning" its because of that.

  3. I didn't know that "Can you lend me a hand?" is used in English and Spanish, too!


    That's interesting! (^o^)
    You don't say this in English, do you?
    Or do you have similar expression in English for this situation?

    >"Stop pulling my leg!"

    We have an expression 足を引っ張る (ashi o hipparu) "to pull a leg" in Japanese.
    This means "to disturb someone to do something".

  4. I can't help it, but I have to quote a joke from one of my favorite films...

    "Arthur" with Dudley Moore...

    Arthur is sitting in a very fancy restaurant with Susan (a woman who want to marry Arthur for his money), Arthur is very drink...

    "Susan: Arthur, take my hand.

    Arthur: But that would only leave you with one!"

    not that funny in text but if you watch the film maybe you will laugh.

    here is a link to the film trailer if you watch the it shows the joke about the hand...

  5. Hi Akiko!!

    Your blog is really interesting and I'm ashamed I didn't read it (: at least in some detail) until today... You're one of the more "エネルギシュ" people I know, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

    Ciao! Ron

  6. >Life in the superStructure

    >But that would only leave you with one!
    I'm trying to understand this but I can't...
    Could you explain this sentence?
    Please! (*_*)


    Thank you!
    I was happy to find your comments! (^o^)
    I checked dictionary and now I know that エネルギッシュ (enerugisshu) is not English word!
    According to my dictionary, it's from German.
    ("energisch" in German.)
    I believed it's English! w(゜O゜) w

  7. "Susan says: Arthur, take my hand.

    Arthur replies: But that would only leave you with one!"

    Susan is asking Arthur to hold her hand..."take my hand", means hold my hand, but "take" also means to remove something..."take your hat off... or take a cookie"....

    "take" is a hard word to explain because it's used in many different ways in English.

    so if he "takes" her hand she will only have one left!

    Maybe if you get time to should rent the movie "Arthur" with Dudley Moore ... you know it was one of the first movies I saw in a movie theater when I was a kid.

  8. Just like aaron mentionned, there are similar expressions in French too.

    "Donner un coup de main" (give/offer a hand) means helping for a task.

    "Tendre la main" (giving/presenting the hand) means proposing to help.

    "Avoir les mains balladeuses" (having hands willing to have a walk) means someone has a tendency to be too close to girls.

    "Prendre la main" (take the hand) means replacing someone who was taking care of a task.


    この日記はとても面白い、ありがとう。 :-)

  9. "Idle hands are the devil's tools"

    says that people (especially children) are more likely to get into trouble when they feel bored and have nothing to do.

    " The "Devil" (in the Christian bible) is the bad angel who fights against God by getting people to do bad things. The Devil uses whatever tools are available. "Idle hands" are the hands of a person who is not doing anything.

    "Idle hands are the devil's tools" because when you are not busy you may end up doing things which you should not do.

  10. to be "wet behind the ears" means to be new at something and aren't very good at it, especially if you're younger than the people who have been doing it for a long time. Often you hear it at the job when you're new, when talking about a new employee fresh from school. for example.

    Manager: "how's the new trainee doing?"
    employee: "He's still wet behind the ears, but he'll be okay."

    Another way of saying "wet behind the ears" is saying someone is "green".

    If you're new at a job/school/etc, you still need to "get your feet wet". It means something like getting used to the job, learning the basics and the rules and such. Here's an example:

    Friend: "So, how's your new job going?"
    Me: "Its going well, but I still need to get my feet wet."

    or you can use it this way as well:

    Manager: "Make sure to look after the new guy until he gets his feet wet."
    senior employee: "Sure thing boss."

    These expressions just don't apply to at the job, but that's the easiest way I could explain them. You can branch out and use them in any conversation, so they're useful to know.

  11. Anonymous3:56 AM

    Hello Akiko-san!

    I came upon your blog while searching for some Japanese vocabulary I had a shiken today. I hope I did well. I find your blog very fascinating and interesting and hope you keep to it.

    A few I thought off the top of my head are "I'm dying to do ______." Where the blank can represent anything. I'd guess this is more of an exaggeration than an idiom.

    One popular one is "riding shotgun" in a car. Riding shotgun is the passenger front seat. I believe it originates from the old Western days of the US where stagecoach passengers would be in control of a shotgun to fend against thieves and other criminals.

    Are there any idioms for "riding shotgun" in Japanese?


  12. >Life in the superStructure ①

    Now I understand that conversation!
    Thank you. :)
    As you wrote, there are so many words which could be translation for "take".
    I think "とる (toru) " is the closest translation for "take".
    (There are a lot of kanji for "toru".)
    "Toru" has many meanings, too. (+_+)
    Anyway, I'll look for the movie "Authur" in the rental video shop. (^ ^)


    There are lots of similar expression in French, too.

    >"Donner un coup de main" (give/offer a hand)

    I noticed something.
    The translation would be "手をあげる (te o ageru)" , right?
    In Japanese, 手をあげる (te o ageru) means "to hit/punch someone".
    This is often used for domestic violence! (*_*)

    >Life in the superStructure ②

    > "Idle hands are the devil's tools"

    This sounds cute. (^ ^)
    I guess there could be similar expression in Japanese, too.
    But I can't recall it...
    By the way, this expression is originally from Christian idea, right?
    Don't people who are not Christian use this kind of expressions?
    Or they don't care?
    In Japanese, there are some vecabularies, proverbs or expressions came from Buddhism or other religions, but we usually don't care if it's from religious idea or not.

  13. >Jair

    I didn't know those expression with "wet".
    I wanted to know why you use "wet" and "ears" for describing inexperienced people and I checked my dictionary.
    According to the explanation, that's because young children don't clean their behind the ears.
    Interesting! (^o^)
    I tried to find the history of "get one's feet wet", too.
    But I couldn't.
    If you know the origin, let me know please!


    Have you already had the result for the test?
    How was it? (^ ^)
    I think I understand the expression "I'm dying to do ______." but not sure...
    Is that used for action which is done too much?
    For example, "I'm dying to eat." means "I ate too much."...?

    >"riding shotgun"

    We don't have expressions for the word, I think.
    We call 助手席 (joshu seki) for passenfer seat.
    This means "seat for assistant". (^ ^)

  14. I did a bit of searching on the internet, and found a link that suggests that the origin of the phrase "get one's feet wet" is in relation to a bible account. I found the link here :

    I didn't know that, but I use that phrase almost everday! Its interesting to learn so much about your native language that you don't know. ^_^

  15. >Jair

    Thank you for looking for the origin. (^o^)

    >Its interesting to learn so much about your native language that you don't know.

    Yes, I really agree with your idea.
    That's the one of the reason that I enjoy teaching Japanese language!

  16. >Don't people who are not Christian use this kind of expressions?<

    yes your right akiko, many expressions come from religions believes, but can be used by anyone.

    I hope you can find the movie... it's an old movie but maybe the video store will have it.

  17. English has a gazillion hand idoms
    for some reason...
    (do you know "gazillion"?) :-)

    first-hand : 直接
     I have first-hand knowlege of the
    war because I was there.

    go hand in hand : 一緒
    drugs and crime go hand in hand.

    (win) hands down : overwhelming victory
    Among the ice creams tested,
    Morinaga was the hands down
    winner. name just a few.

    BTW, for people interested in
    idioms, there's very groovy online
    idiom dictionary here:

    It's WAY past bedtime.

  18. >do you know "gazillion"?

    I tried to find the word with my dictionary, but I couldn't.
    What does that mean!?

    The expressions with "hand" you wrote are interesting! (^ ^)
    I didn't know the meanings.
    If I didn't know the expressions, even if I see them in sentences or in conversation, it seems quite difficult to guess the exact meaning!

    Also the website you mentioned seems very convenient.
    I hope we could have same system for Japanese language!

    1. Anonymous9:18 PM

      Hey Akiko, I would like to suggest you an online Japanese course with an interactive tool to teach Japanese easily - "Yomuzoku"


      Kindly have a look.
      Thank you.

  19. >>do you know "gazillion"?
    >What does that mean!?

    Yes, it won't be in a normal dictionary,
    since it's kinda slangish.. But if you
    google it, you'll find (for example):

    "Well, a gazillion is only slightly
    less than a Mothra-illion. More
    seriously, a gazillion is not any power of ten, since it's not a
    number. A "gazillion" (sometimes
    spelled "bazillion") is just a way
    of saying "a really big number," or
    "a whole lot of..." It's related
    to the word "zillion," which is also
    not a number, as in "Bill Gates is a
    zillionaire, which just means that
    he has a whole boatload of money
    (which he does). "

    ようするに、a gazillion means
    "a whole lot!".


  20. Konnichiwa Akiko-San ..I just read your blogged and it sounds interesting for me because im studying Nehonggo but part time only .. Please Blog more lessons..Thank you.