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Kubi (Dismissal)

  • Today I will talk about the slang term “クビ (kubi).”


    “クビ” is Katakana form of a kanji character “首,” which means “neck,” and if you write the kanji in Katakana or Hiragana, it often means “dismissal/displacement.”

    For example:
    “Kubi ni natta.” (This literal meaning is “I became a neck,” and it expressed “I was fired.”)

    “Kimi wa kubi da.” (This literal meaning is “You are a neck,” and it expressed “You’re fired.”)

    In the Edo period in Japan, criminals were cut their necks using Japanese swords.

    By identifying such executions with displacements, “kubi wo kiru” (to cut a neck) came to mean to dismiss someone.

    Furthermore, just “kubi” (neck) came to mean “dismissal.”
    英語では “get axed” や “get the ax” とう表現がありますが、これに近いと思います。

    I think that these terms are similar to “get axed” or “get the ax” in English.

    Original sentence