koshi ga hikui (腰が低い – Humble)

  • Koshi ga Hikui


    I am sometimes told koshi ga hikui (腰が低い).

    Since koshi (腰) means “low back” or “waist” and hikui (低い) means “low,” the literal meaning of koshi ga hikui is “one’s low back is low.”
    「腰」は “low back” や “waist”、「低い」は “low” を意味するので、「腰が低い」の文字どおりの意味は “one’s low back is low” となります。

    In actual conversation, this phrase is used to mean that someone is humble or modest.

    You can also say teishisei (低姿勢), by combining tei (低 – “low”) and shisei (姿勢 – “posture”).
    “Low” を意味する「低」と “posture” を意味する「姿勢」を組み合わせて、「低姿勢」と言うこともあります。

    Incidentally, if you say koshi ga takai (腰が高い) by using takai (高い – “high”) instead of hikui, you can mean that someone is arrogant, but this phrase is not often used.
    ちなみに、 横柄であることを意味するために “high” を意味する「高い」を使って「腰が高い」言うこともできますが、この表現はあまり使われません。

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