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Abura wo Uru (Sell Oil)

  • Abura wo Uru


    Today, I will talk about the Japanese idiom “abura wo uru.”

    The literal meaning of “abura wo uru” is “to sell oil,” and it expresses that someone neglects on his/her work temporarily or has an idle talk.

    In the Edo period in Japan, oil sellers chatted with customers for a long time when they sold oil.

    Oil has high viscosity, and it took a long time to transfer the oil to customer’s container, so oil sellers spent the time talking.

    From this fact, to neglect work or to have an idle talk came to be referred to as “abura wo uru.”

    Original sentence