Temae Miso (手前味噌 – Self-Praise)

  • Temae Miso


    I think that everyone sometimes wants to compliment themselves.

    Such an action can be described as temae miso (手前味噌) in Japanese.

    Te (手) means “hand,” mae (前) means “front,” and the combination temae (手前) means “at hand” or “oneself.”
    「手」は “hand”、「前」は “front” を意味し、「手前」で「自分の目の前」や「自分自身」を表します。

    In addition, miso (味噌) means “fermented soybean paste,” but it can also mean “an ingenuity point” or “a claim to fame” because miso was made by each house’s unique formula.
    また、「味噌」は “fermented soybean paste” を意味する言葉ですが、味噌はかつて各家庭で工夫をこらして作られていたことから、「工夫点」や「自慢とする点」を意味することもあります。

    Therefore, temae miso came to have the meaning of “pride” or “self-praise.”

    [Example] Temae miso desuga, musuko wa kashikoi desu (手前味噌ですが、息子は賢いです – “I don’t mean to brag, but my son is clever”).

    Original sentence

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