Nisoku Sanmon (二束三文 – Dirt Cheap)

  • ← You can select the display language.

    Nisoku Sanmon

    二束三文


    Previously, I went to a secondhand bookstore to sell my books, but they became nisoku sanmon (二束三文).
    私は以前、古本屋に本を売りに行ったことがありますが、「二束三文」にしかなりませんでした。

    Nisoku sanmon is a four-character idiom meaning that a selling price is very low even if it is large in number.
    「二束三文」は、数が多くても売値が非常に安いことを意味する四字熟語です。

    Ni (二) means “two,” soku (束) means “bundle,” san (三) means “three,” and mon (文) is an old Japanese currency unit, the value today of which is about 30 yen (about $0.28), so the literal meaning of nisoku sanmon is “30 yen for two bundles.”
    「二」は “two”、「束」は “bundle”、「三」は “three”、「文」は通貨単位で現在の約30円(約0.28ドル)であるため、「二束三文」の文字どおりの意味は “30 yen for two bundles” となります。

    Here, soku (束) can be written as 足, which represents a unit of footwear, and sanmon is also used to represent a cheap thing.
    「束」は履物の単位である「足」と書くこともでき、「三文」は安いもののたとえでもあります。

    Because of this, some people think that this idiom comes from the fact that two pair of Japanese sandals were sold very cheaply in the Edo period.
    このことから、この四字熟語は二足の履物がとても安く売られていたことに由来するとも考えられてます。

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.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