CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionKanjiLanguageUncorrected

Te mo Ashi mo Denai (手も足も出ない – Helpless)

  • Te mo Ashi mo Denai


    The Japanese idiom te mo ashi mo denai describes a situation where there is no way to handle it or when something is beyond one’s ability.

    Te (手) means “hand.”
    Ashi (足) means “foot.”
    De/deru (出/出る) means “to come out.”
    Nai (ない) is a negative suffix.
    「手」・・・ “hand”
    「足」・・・ “foot”
    「出/出る」・・・ “to come out”

    Therefore, the literal meaning of te mo ashi mo denai is “neither one’s hands nor feet come out.”
    したがって、「手も足も出ない」の文字どおりの意味は “” となります。

    This literal translation represents a state where one finds themselves helpless and unable to move.

    Original sentence