CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiUncorrected

Tekozuru (てこずる – Having Trouble with Something)

  • Tekozuru


    When you cannot handle something and have trouble with it, we express it using the Japanese verb てこずる (tekozuru).

    There are several theories about the etymology of “tekozuru.”

    According to a theory, てこ (teko) means “leverage” and ずる (zuru) means “to slither.” In this theory, “tekozuru” comes from the situation where even if you tried to move something using the power of leverage, it slithered and didn’t work.
    ある説は、「てこ」は “leverage,” 「ずる」は “to slither” を意味し、「てこずる」は「てこで何かを動かそうとしても滑ってうまくいかないこと」が語源だとしています。

    According to another theory, “teko” means “helper” and “zuru” means “to trouble someone.” In this theory, “tekozuru” comes from the situation where you needed a helpers and troubled him/her.
    またある説では、「てこ」は “helper,” 「ずる」は “to trouble someone” を意味し、「てこずる」は「手助けの人さえも煩わせるようなこと」が語源だとしています。

    Original sentence