CultureEssayIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Nakute Nanakuse Atte Shijūhakkuse (なくて七癖あって四十八癖 – Every Man Has His Own Peculiarities)

  • Nakute Nanakuse Atte Shijūhakkuse


    In yesterday’s post, I introduced the proverb nakute nanakuse (なくて七癖), which means that everyone has some habits, even if you think you have no habits.

    You can also add atte shijūhakkuse (あって四十八癖) to this proverb and say nakute nanakuse atte shijūhakkuse (なくて七癖あって四十八癖).

    Since atte (あって) means “have” and shijūha/shijūhachi (四十八) means “forty-eight,” the literal meaning of atte shijūhakkuse is “people having habits have forty-eight habits.”
    「あって」は “have”、「四十八」は “forty-eight”、「癖」は “habit” を意味するので、「あって四十八癖」の文字どおりの意味は “people having habits have forty-eight habits” となります。

    Here, shijūha/shijūhachi (四十八 – meaning “forty-eight”) is just used to express a large number, and there is no meaning to the specific number “forty-eight.”

    In other words, this proverb means that everyone has more habits than they think.

    Original sentence