Gyūjiru (牛耳る – Dominating)


  • Gyūjiru

    牛耳る


    When someone controls an organization or a community as he/her want, we refer to the action as ‘gyūjiru’ (牛耳る).
    組織や団体を思い通りに動かすことを、「牛耳る」と言います。

    ‘Gyū’ (牛) means ‘cow’ or ‘bull,’ ‘ji’ (耳) means ‘ear,’ and ‘ru’ (る) is the suffix which can verbalize a noun.
    「牛」は ‘cow’ や ‘bull,’ 「耳」は ‘ear,’ そして「る」は名詞を動詞化するはたらきを持つ言葉です。

    In the past in China, when lords joined in an alliance, the leader took/cut cow’s ear, and the lords licked the blood to swear loyalty.
    かつて中国では、諸侯が同盟を結ぶ際、盟主が牛の耳を執り、その血をすすり合って忠誠を誓ったそうです。

    Because of this, to be a leader of an alliance came to be called “gyūji wo toru” (牛耳を執る – taking a cor’s ear), and it later also came to mean to control/dominate an organization or a community.
    このことから同盟における盟主となることを「牛耳を執る」をいうようになり、さらには「組織や団体を思い通りに動かす」ことを意味するようになりました。

    These days, it is usually used as ‘gyūjiru’ for short.
    現在では、省略して「牛耳る」と使われることが多いです。

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