Tamageru (たまげる – Being Surprised)

  • Tamageru


    To be surprised at something is sometimes expressed as tamageru (たまげる) in Japanese.

    Tamageru can be written in kanji as 魂消る.

    Since tama/tamashii (魂) means “soul” and geru/kieru (消る/消える) means “to vanish,” the literal meaning of tamageru is “one’s soul vanishes.”
    「魂」は “soul”、「消る」は “to vanish” を意味するので、「魂消る」の文字どおりの意味は “one’s soul vanishes” となります。

    Originally, 魂消る was written as 魂切る (read as tamagiru – meaning “to be frightened”) by using giru/kiru (切る meaning “to cut”).
    もともと「魂消る」は、”to cut” を意味する「切る」を使って「魂切る」と書き、「怯える」ことを意味していました。

    Tamagiru came to have the meaning of “to be surprised,” and the latter half giru (切る) changed to geru (消る) accordingly.

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