On wo Ada de Kaesu (恩を仇で返す – Biting the Hand that Feeds One)

  • On wo Ada de Kaesu


    Have you ever returned someone’s kindness by doing harm to them rather than being thankful?

    (I hope the answer is “no.”)

    Such an action is called on wo ada de kaesu (恩を仇で返す) in Japanese.

    On (恩) means “favor,” ada (仇) means “harm,” and kaesu (返す) means “to return,” so the literal meaning of this phrase is “to do harm as a return of favors.”
    「恩」は “favor”、「仇」は “harm”、「返す」は “to return” を意味するので、「恩を仇で返す」の文字どおりの意味は “to do harm as a return of favors” となります。

    For example, you can use it to describe a scene in which a child betrays their parents who have cherished them.

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