EssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionUncorrected

Yō wo Tasu (用を足す – Go to the Bathroom)

  • Yō wo Tasu


    I used the expression ‘yō wo tasu‘ (用を足す) in my yesterday’s post.

    ‘ (用) means “errand” and ‘tasu‘ (足す) means “to add” or “to do what is necessary.”
    「用」は “errand”、「足す」は “to add/do what is necessary” を意味します。

    Of course, this expression can literally mean “to do a necessary errand,” but if you say just ‘yō wo tasu’ (用を足す), it will mean to go to the bathroom in most cases.
    この表現はもちろん、文字どおり “to do a necessary errand” を意味することもありますが、単に「用を足す」とだけ言った場合は「トイレに行く」ことを意味する場合が多いです。

    It implies that you do what is necessary as a human in the bathroom.

    As other indirect expressions, there are ‘ohana tsumi ni iki‘ (お花摘みに行く – “I will go picking flowers”) and ‘kiji uchi ni iki‘ (雉撃ちに行く – “I will go pheasant hunting”), though they are now rarely used.

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