Tsume no Aka wo Senjite Nomu (爪の垢を煎じて飲む – Taking a Lesson from Someone)

  • Tsume no Aka wo Senjite Nomu


    I think that many people look up to model after an excellent person and want to become like him/her.

    Such an act or thought is expressed as tsume no aka wo senjite nomu (爪の垢を煎じて飲む) in Japanese.

    Tsume (爪) means “nail,” aka (垢) means “grim” or “dirt,” senjite (煎じて) means “to brew something,” and nomu (飲む) means “to drink something.”
    「爪」は “nail,” 「垢」は “dirt,” 「煎じて」は “to brew something” 「飲む」は “to drink something” を意味します。

    Therefore, the literal meaning of this proverb is “to brew someone’s nail jam and drink it,” but of course we don’t do such a thing.
    文字通りの意味は “to drink” ですが、もちろん実際に飲むわけでもなく、飲んだところで意味もありません。

    This proverb represents the feeling that people want to become like an excellent person even a little by extracting a part of the person and drinking it.

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