Choromakasu(ちょろまかす – Sneaking)


  • Choromakasu

    ちょろまかす


    To steal something surreptitiously or to cheat on someone’s money is called ‘choromakasu‘ (ちょろまかす) in Japanese.
    人の目をごまかして何かを盗むことや、金銭などをごまかすことを、「ちょろまかす」と言います。

    There are two major theories about the etymology of this term.
    この言葉の語源は、大きく2つの説があります。

    One is that it was made by combining two words: ‘choro‘ (ちょろ), meaning to be quick, and ‘makasu‘ (まかす), which is short for ‘gomakasu’ (ごまかす – covering up).
    一つは、「素早いさま」を表す「ちょろ」に、「ごまかす」の「まかす」を繋げて「ちょろまかす」となったというものです。

    The other one is related to small boats used in the Edo period.
    もう一つは、江戸時代に使われた小型の船に関係したものです。

    These small boats were called ‘choro‘ (ちょろ). Also, ‘makasu‘ (負かす) means to defeat something. That is to say, ‘choromakasu‘ could originally to imply that someone is quick enough to defeat ‘choro.’
    この小型で速い船は「ちょろ」と呼ばれ、この「ちょろ」を「負かす」ほど早く動くという意味で「ちょろまかす」というわけです。

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