CorrectedEssayFoodIdiomJapanese tradition

Shita-tsuzumi wo Utsu (舌鼓を打つ – Smacking One’s Lips)

  • Shita-tsuzumi wo Utsu


    In yesterday’s post, I introduced the phrase hō ga ochiru (頬が落ちる), which means that something is very delicious.

    To explain the same meaning of hō ga ochiru, you can also use the slightly more archaic phrase, shita-tsuzumi wo utsu (舌鼓を打つ).

    Since shita (舌) means “tongue,” tsuzumi (鼓) means a traditional Japanese hand drum, and utsu (打つ) means “to beat,” the literal meaning of shita-tsuzumi wo utsu is “to beat one’s tongue like a drum.”
    「舌」は “tongue”、「鼓」は “Japanese hand drum”、「打つ」は “to beat” を意味するので、「舌鼓を打つ」の文字どおりの意味は “to beat one’s tongue drum” となります。

    When eating something delicious or being satisfied with a delicious meal, we sometimes click our tongues unconsciously.

    This sound is similar to the sound of beating tsuzumi, hence this expression emerged.

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