CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Kaeru no Ko wa Kaeru (蛙の子は蛙 – Like Father, Like Son)

  • Kaeru no Ko wa Kaeru


    Yesterday, I talked about an idiom related to a parent tiger and its cub.

    Today, I’d like to introduce you to a Japanese proverb related to a frog parent and its child; 蛙の子は蛙 (kaeru no ko wa kaeru).

    蛙 (kaeru) means “frog” and 子 (ko) means “child,” so the literal meaning of this proverb is “a flog child is a frog.”
    「蛙」は “frog,” 「子」は “child” を意味するので、このことわざの文字どおりの意味は “a flog child is a flog” となります。

    Larvae of frogs, tadpoles, are not similar to their parents, but as they grow up they will finally change to look like their parents, frogs.

    Because of this, “kaeru no ko wa kaeru” is used to mean that the nature/ability of a child resemble his/her parents.

    However, note that this proverb often contains a bad meanings, which is something like that if parents are ordinary persons, their child will be ordinary.

    Original sentence