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

    爪の垢を煎じて飲む


    I think that many people look up to model after an excellent person and want to become like him/her.
    多くの人は、優れた人を模範とし、あやかりたいと思うものです。

    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.
    その行為や考えを「爪の垢を煎じて飲む」ということわざで表現することがあります。

    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.
    このことわざは、優れた人の成分を抽出して飲むことで、少しでもその人に近づきたいという気持ちを表しています。

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