CorrectedCultureEssayFoodHistoryIdiomJapanese tradition

Nibe mo Nai (にべもない – Blunt)

  • Nibe mo Nai


    People who are unsociable or blunt are sometimes described as nibe mo nai (にべもない).

    Nibe (にべ – meaning “nibea mitsukurii”) is the kind of fish belonging to the order Perciformes, known as a premium ingredient for kamaboko (a type of fish cake).

    In the past, a glue material called nikawa (膠) was made from the large air bladder of the nibea mitsukurii.
    また、「ない」は否定を意味するため、「にべもない」の文字どおりの意味は “no fish” となります。

    Since the nikawa made from nibe had strong adhesive properties, nibe came to mean sociability or flattery. Later, by pairing it with the negative word nai (ない), the above expression nibe mo nai was coined.

    Original sentence