Shitasaki Sanzun (舌先三寸 - Glib Tongue) Part 1

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May 29, 2019 10:53 English essay
Shitasaki Sanzun Part 1

There are people who persuade someone only with their big mouths and smooth talk.

Such people can be described as 'shitasaki sanzun' (舌先三寸) in Japanese.

'Shita' (舌) means "tongue," 'saki' (先) means "tip," 'san' (三) means "three" and 'zun/sun' (寸) is a unit of length representing about 3 cm, so the literal meaning of 'shitasaki sanzun' is "one's tip of the tongue is about 9 cm."

You might think that the tongue tip with a length of about 9 cm is long.

There are two major theories about the etymology of this term.

To be continued.
舌先三寸 Part 1

世の中には、うわべだけの巧みな言葉で相手をあしらう人がいます。

そのような人のことを、「舌先三寸」と言います。

「舌」は "tongue"、「先」は "tip"、「三」は "three"、「寸」は約3cmを表す距離の単位を意味するので、「舌先三寸」の文字どおりの意味は "one's tip of the tongue is about 9 cm" となります。

舌の先が約9cmなんて、長いと感じるかもしれません。

この言葉の語源には、大きく二つの説があります。

続く。
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