Ki no Doku (気の毒 – Feeling Sorry)

  • Ki no Doku


    To feel sorry for someone or have sympathy for someone’s misfortune or suffering is described as ki no doku (気の毒) in Japanese.

    Since ki (気) means “feelings/heart” and doku (毒) means “poison,” the literal meaning of ki no doku is “poison of feelings.”
    「気」は “feeling/heart”、「毒」は “poison” を意味するので、「気の毒」の文字どおりの意味は “poison of feeling” となります。

    This phrase was originally used to refer to something that makes you feel bad like poison.

    Later, it has come to have its current meaning, because someone’s misfortune or suffering also makes you feel bad.

    When expressing one’s feelings of sympathy to a person who has suffered misfortune, Japanese people usually say oki no doku ni (お気の毒に – “I’m sorry to hear that”).

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.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