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  • Today I will talk about the verb “saboru.”


    “Saboru” means to skip your work or class in idleness.

    Many Japanese people might believe that this is a pure Japanese verb, but actually it comes from the French “sabotage.”

    “Sabotage” is a kind of labor disputes, for example, labors intentionally destroy machines and inflict heavy damage on managers to promote resolution of issues.
    この言葉を日本語だと思っている日本人は多いと思いますが、実際はフランス語の “sabotage” に由来します。

    Here, “sabotage” comes from the French word “sabot,” which means “clog.”
    “Sabotage” とは、過失に見せかけて機械を破壊したり、仕事を停滞させるなど、経営者に損害を与えることで事態の解決を促進する労働争議の一種です。

    It is said that the reason is because French workers kicked and destroyed machines with sabots/clogs.
    “Sabotage” は、木靴を意味する “sabot” から来ています。

    Note that the nuance of Japanese verb “saboru” is different from the French/English term “sabotage” — “saboru” is used to mean just something like “to shirk.”

    Original sentence