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

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May 30, 2019 18:18 English essay
Shitasaki Sanzun

Yesterday, I introduced the term 'shitasaki sanzun' (舌先三寸), which describes people who persuade someone only with their big mouths and smooth talk.

The literal meaning of this term is "one's tip of the tongue is about 9 cm," but there are two major theories about the reason for coming to have the above meaning.

One theory says that 'sanzun' (三寸 - "about 9 cm") is a word representing that something is very short, and 'shitasaki sanzun' implies that it is hard to say hearty words because of the short tongue.

The other theory says that 'shitasaki' (舌先 - "the tip of a tongue") implies someone's words, and 'shitasaki sanzun' implies that someone's words are shallow.
舌先三寸 Part 2


「舌先三寸」の文字どおりの意味は "one's tip of the tongue is about 9 cm" ですが、上記のような意味を持つようになった理由として大きく次の二つの説があります。