CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiSlangUncorrected

Happa wo Kakeru (はっぱをかける – Firing Someone up)

  • If you want to give someone a kick in the back, you may use strong language.


    Such an act is called はっぱをかける (happa wo kakeru) in Japanese.

    I think that most Japanese people will image “leaf” when they hear はっぱ (happa), but this is wrong.
    「はっぱ」とだけ聞くと、多くの日本人は “leaf” を想像しますが、違います。

    “Happa” in “happa wo kakeru” means an explosive or to blow up something in a construction site.

    Also, かける (kakeru) means to set something.
    また、「かける」 “to set something” を意味します。

    Therefore, the literal meaning of “happa wo kakeru” is to set off an explosive, and it implies that you use strong words like a bomb to hurry someone.

    Original sentence