CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Kubi wo Nagaku-suru (首を長くする – Waiting Eagerly)

  • Kubi wo Nagaku-suru


    There is a Japanese idiom: 首を長くする (kubi wo nagaku-suru).

    首 (kubi) means “neck” and 長くする (nagaku-suru) means “to lengthen something,” so the literal meaning of this idiom is “to lengthen one’s neck.”
    「首」は “neck,” 「長くする」は “to lengthen something” を意味するので、「首を長くする」の文字通りの意味は “to lengthen one’s neck” となります。

    However, it actually means to wait for something eagerly.

    If you are looking forward to meet someone, you will stretch yourself or lengthen your neck in order to look into the far distance.

    Because of this, “kubi wo nagaku-suru” has come to be used in the above meaning.

    If you want to express you’re waiting for something explicitly, you can say 首を長くして待つ (kubi wo nagaku-shite matsu), by using the verb 待つ (matsu – waiting).

    Original sentence