Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't pull my leg!

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

Today, I’m introducing you some idioms with “leg”.

Leg is "足 (ashi)" in Japanese.

① 足が重い (ashi ga omoi)

"The leg is heavy."

This means...
"I don’t want to go to the place but I have to go."


(ashita wa JLPT da, ashi ga omoiyo.)

"It will be the Japanese proficiency test tomorrow. I don’t want to go but I have to go."

② 足元にも及ばない (ashimoto nimo oyobanai)

“It doesn’t reach to even foot.”
This means…
“Someone is much greater than I am.”

This is often used for describing a humble attitude.


(shachoo wa gorufu ga ojoozu desune! watashi nante ashimoto nimo oyobimasenyo!)

“You are a great golf player, our president! I’m much worse than you!”

③ 足を引っ張る (ashi o hipparu)

“To pull someone’s leg”

This means…
“to interrupt someone’s success or career”

(Yoshida, ore no ashi o hipparanaide kure.)

“Yoshida, don't interrupt my career."

Does your language have same or similar expressions using legs?


  1. I enjoy your blog!

    Unfortunately for me, I have "daikon ashi"...somewhat thick legs, even if I'm at my right weight.

    Cylindrical, white, radishy!!

    Which makes me think of another idiom, "shoganai"..."nothing i can do about it/it can't be helped"

    Thanks for the mini lessons!!!

  2. Sachie12:07 PM

    Oh, Finally Updated! :-)

    Even for me, Japanese, your blog is interesting! I learn a lot such as how to say in English for this Japanese.

    what is next? hand?
    I am looking forwarad to seeing it!

  3. >Ruth
    I'm glad to hear that you like my blog. :)
    Oh, "daikonashi"... I forgot the phrase.
    That's an interesting expression, isn't it!
    You don't say "radish foot" in English, do you?
    Maybe I can put a post about expression with vegitables. ;)

    Thank you for your comment!
    I hardly ever get comments from Japanese, so I'm happy to know that you like my blog. :)
    Actually, I've already put a post about hand before.
    Go to

  4. Edgeworth4:40 AM

    In England we have the phrase to pull someone's leg, but here it means you are trying to tell a little lie to someone like

    "I have 3 sportcars at home"
    "You're pulling my leg!"

    This is an interesting blog, I will remember to look again :)

    1. Anonymous10:56 AM

      In America, pulling one's name means the same thing. This isn't that surprising though--it probably means the same thing in all English-speaking countries.

  5. >Edgeworth
    Thank you for your comment.
    I didn't know that.
    In Japanese that means "to interrupt someone's success or career" because if someone pulls your leg, it's difficult for you to walk.
    Do you know why the meaning is "trying to tell a little lie to someone" in English??

    Yes, please check my blog again. :)

  6. AKIKO, I love your blog, your HP, & all the hard work you put into helping us foreigners here in Japan, keep up the good job, I only wish you lived closer to Kanagawa! (, BTW, thought you might like this: "pull one's leg. When you pull a person's leg you are spoofing or making fun of him, usually in a good-humored way. But that wasn't always the meaning of the expression. When the expression first turned up in Scotland about a hundred years ago, it was lacking the lighthearted touch it has today. In those days 'pull one's leg' meant to make of fool of him, often by outright cheating. The best theory of the origin of the phrase is that by tripping a person -- pulling his leg -- you can throw him into a state of confusion and make him look very foolish indeed." From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollinsPublishers).

  7. It is a nice an informative blog for Japanese learners. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.