Uri Kotoba ni Kai Kotoba (売り言葉に買い言葉 – Tit for Tat)


  • Uri Kotoba ni Kai Kotoba

    売り言葉に買い言葉


    Have you ever exchanged harsh words with someone?
    誰かに喧嘩腰な言葉をかけられ、相応の乱暴な言葉を返したことはありますか?

    Such an act is called uri kotoba ni kai kotoba (売り言葉に買い言葉) in Japanese.
    そのようなことを、日本語で「売り言葉に買い言葉」と言います。

    Since uri (売り) means “selling,” kotoba (言葉) means “word,” and kai (買い) means “buying,” the literal meaning of this phrase is “selling words and buying words.”
    「売り」は “selling”、「言葉」は “word”、「買い」は “buying” を意味するので、「売り言葉に買い言葉」の文字どおりの意味は “selling words and buying words” となります。

    In Japanese, to pick a quarrel/fight is expressed kenka wo uru (喧嘩を売る – literally means “to sell a quarrel/fight”), and to take up the quarrel/fight is expressed as kenka wo kau (喧嘩を買う – literally means “to buy a quarrel/fight”).
    日本語では、わざと喧嘩を仕掛けることを「喧嘩を売る」、売られた喧嘩に応じることを「喧嘩を買う」と表現します。

    That is to say, uri kotoba (売り言葉) means “words that cause a fight,” and kai kotoba (買い言葉) means “words that take up a fight.”
    すなわち、「売り言葉」は「喧嘩を仕掛けるような言葉」、「買い言葉」は「売り言葉に喧嘩腰で応じる言葉」というわけです。

    This phrase can be translated as “tit for tat” in English.
    英語では “tit for tat” のように表現されます。

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *