CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionProverbUncorrected

Ki de Hana wo Kukuru (木で鼻をくくる – Chilling)

  • Ki de Hana wo Kukuru


    Have you ever been treated with a cold and unfriendly attitude when you tried to ask someone for advice or initiate a conversation?

    That kind of attitude is sometimes described as ki de hana wo kukuru (木で鼻をくくる) in Japanese.

    Ki (木) means “wood,” hana (鼻) means “nose,’ and kukuru (くくる) originates from kokuru (こくる/擦る), which means “to wipe.”
    「木」は “tree”、「鼻」は “nose” 、「くくる」は本来は「こくる(擦る)」で、”to wipe” を意味します。

    Therefore, the literal meaning of ki de hana wo kukuru is “to wipe one’s nose with wood.”
    したがって、「木で鼻をくくる」の文字どおりの意味は “to wipe one’s nose with wood” となります。

    In the past, when paper was precious, wood was sometimes used to wipe one’s nose.

    Since wiping one’s nose with wood causes one to look unpleasant due to the pain, this phrase has come to carry its current meaning.

    Original sentence