Gobu Gobu (五分五分 – Half and Half)

  • Gobu Gobu


    Yesterday, I introduced you to the four-character idiom ‘kubu kurin‘ (九分九厘), which means that a probability or achievement is almost 100% (literally means 99%).

    If you want to express that the probability is about 50%, you can use the four-character idiom ‘gobu gobu‘ (五分五分).

    Go‘ (五) means “five,” ‘bu‘ (分) is a unit representing ratios, and ‘ichibu‘ (一分 – “one bu“) is 10%, so the literal meaning of this idiom is “50% and 50%.”
    「五」は “five”、「分」は割合を表す単位を意味し、「一分」は「10%」であるので、「五分五分」の文字どおりの意味は “50% and 50%” となります。

    ‘Gobu gobu’ can mean not only probability but also that there is no priority between two persons (or two things).

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