CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbSlangUncorrected

Shakkin wo Shichi ni Oku (借金を質に置く – Severe Financial Hardship)

  • Shakkin wo Shichi ni Oku


    To come up with the money for something by forcing yourself can be described as shakkin wo shichi ni oku (借金を質に置く) in Japanese.

    Since shakkin (借金) means “debt,” and shichi ni oku (質に置く) means “to pawn something,” the literal meaning of this phrase is “to pawn debt.”
    「借金」は “debt”、「質に置く」は “to pawn something” を意味するので、この表現の文字通りの意味は “to pawn debt” となります。

    As you can imagine, this phrase describes a financially distressed situation where debt is the only thing to be pawned or increased by debt being pawned.

    It is often used with the auxiliary verb youda (ようだ), which means “feel like,” as shakkin wo shichi ni oku youda (借金を質に置くようだ).

    Original sentence