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Karitekita Neko (借りてきた猫 – Much Quieter than Usual)

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    Karitekita Neko


    Someone who is much quieter and meeker than usual can be described as karitekita neko (借りてきた猫) in Japanese.

    Since karitekita (借りてきた) means “borrowed” and neko (猫) means “cat,” the literal meaning of karitekita neko is “borrowed cat.”
    「借りてきた」は “borrowed”、「猫」は “cat” を意味するので、「借りてきた猫」の文字どおりの意味は “borrowed cat” となります。

    In the past, Japanese people often kept cats to catch mice.

    However, if you borrowed a cat from another house to catch mice, the cat would not do its job well in a strange house.

    Because of this, the phrase karitekita neko came to have the above meaning.

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