Zettai Zetsumei (絶体絶命 – Certain Death)

  • Zettai Zetsumei


    Several days ago, I was being fallen into a situation called ‘zettai zetsumei’ (絶体絶命) in Japanese.

    Ze/zetsu‘ (絶) means “to end,” ‘tai‘ (体) means “body,” ‘mei‘ (命) means “life.”
    「絶」は “to end”、「体」は “body”、「命」は “life” を意味します。

    Each idiom, ‘zettia‘ (絶体) and ‘zetsumei‘ (絶命) means “one’s body (is about to) ends” and “one’s life (is about to) ends,” respectively.

    In addition, the combination ‘zettai zetsumei’ means a situation that you are driven to the last extremity and cannot do anything.

    People sometimes write 絶対絶命 (zettai zetsumei) using 絶対 (zettai – meaning “definite/absolute”) instead of 絶体 (zettai), but note that this is incorrect.
    “Definite” や “absolute” を意味する「絶対」を使って「絶対絶命」と書かれることもありますが、これは誤りです。

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