Shitasaki Sanzun (舌先三寸 – Glib Tongue) Part 1

  • Shitasaki Sanzun Part 1

    舌先三寸 Part 1

    There are people who persuade someone only with their big mouths and smooth talk.

    Such people can be described as shitasaki sanzun (舌先三寸) in Japanese.

    Shita (舌) means “tongue,” saki (先) means “tip,” san (三) means “three” and zun/sun (寸) is a unit of length representing about 3 cm, so the literal meaning of shitasaki sanzun is “one’s tip of the tongue is about 9 cm.”
    「舌」は “tongue”、「先」は “tip”、「三」は “three”、「寸」は約3cmを表す距離の単位を意味するので、「舌先三寸」の文字どおりの意味は “one’s tip of the tongue is about 9 cm” となります。

    You might think that the tongue tip with a length of about 9 cm is long.

    There are two major theories about the etymology of this term.

    To be continued.

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