Te wo Kiru (手を切る – Washing One’s Hands of)

  • Te wo Kiru


    There is a Japanese expression, ‘te wo kiru’ (手を切る).

    Since ‘te‘ (手) means “hand” and ‘kiru‘ (切る) means “to cut” or “to cut off,” the literal meaning of te wo kiru is “to cut one’s hand.”
    「手」は “hand,” 「切る」は “to cut” を意味するので、「手を切る」の文字通りの意味は “to cut one’s hand” となります。

    Here, te is used as a word meaning a relationship with someone.

    Therefore, te wo kiru means to cut off a relationship with someone.

    In particular, this expression is often used to cut off a bad, inappropriate, or sexual relationship.

    In English, you can probably say “to wash one’s hands of ___” to mean te wo kiru.
    英語では、「洗う」を意味する “wash” を用いて、”to wash one’s hands of ___” のように表現されます。

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