EssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionUncorrected

Waki ga Amai (脇が甘い – Vulnerable)

  • Waki ga Amai


    To describe that someone’s defenses are weak or someone is vulnerable, you can say the Japanese idiom ‘waki ga amai‘ (脇が甘い).

    Waki‘ (脇) means “armpit” and ‘amai‘ (甘い) means “sweet” or “lax,” so the literal meaning of ‘waki ga amai’ is “one’s armpit is sweet” or “one’s armpit is lax.”
    「脇」は “armpit”、「甘い」は “sweet” や “lax” を意味するので、「脇が甘い」の文字通りの意味は “one’s armpit is sweet” や “one’s armpit is lax” となります。

    Of course, it does not literally mean that someone’s armpit is sweet.
    しかし決して、”someone’s armpit is sweet” という意味ではありません。

    This idiom comes from a traditional Japanese sport, ‘sumō‘ (相撲).

    In sumō, if you do not close tightly your armpits, you will be thrown and defeated.

    Because of this, ‘waki ga amai’ came to have its current meaning.

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