Namida wo Nomu (涙を呑む – Swallowing Tears)

  • TNamida wo Nomu


    A few days ago, I took an action called ‘namida wo nomu’ (涙を呑む) in Japanese.

    ‘Namida wo nomu’ is an idiom that means to hold back one’s tears when the one is about to cry due to regret, chagrin, or sorrow.

    ‘Namida’ (涙) means “tear,” and ‘nomu’ (呑む) means “to drink” or “to swallow,” so the literal meaning of this idiom is “to drink/swallow tears.”
    「涙」は “tear,” 「呑む」は “to drink” や “to swallow” を意味するので、「涙を呑む」の文字通りの意味は “to swallow tears” となります。

    That is to say, this idiom implies that you hold back your tears by swallowing them.

    I heard that the literal translation, “to swallow tears” and “to swallow/back down tears” can be used in the same meaning to this.
    英語でも同様に、”to swallow tears” や “to swallow back/down tears” のように言うようです。

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