CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionLanguageUncorrected

Sparrow’s Tears and Cat’s Forehead

  • Today, I’d like to talk about the Japanese phrases “suzume no namida” and “neko no hitai.”


    Suzume means sparrows, namida means tears, and “suzume no namida” is a phrase for expressing very small quantity.

    For example: Suzume no namida hodo no kyuryo (A salary as much as sparrow’s tears)
    雀は “sparrow”、涙は “tears” という意味で、雀の涙はごくわずかなものを例える際に使う言葉です。

    There is also the phrase “neko no hitai,” which is similar to “suzume no namida.”

    Neko means cats, hitai means a forehead, and “neko no hitai” is a phrase for expressing very narrow area.

    For example: Neko no hitai hodo no tochi (A place as large as a cat’s forehead)
    猫は “cat”、額は “forehead” という意味で、猫の額は狭い面積を例える際に使う言葉です。

    Also, “unagi no nedoko” (an eel’s bed) is a phrase for expressing a narrow and long space.

    Original sentence