Today we will look at a few expressions using different body parts, all above the neck: head, eye, nose, and ear.
First is 頭 (atama), which means "head." There are many expressions related to the head. Some are obvious:
頭がいい（atama ga ii）= "head is good," which means smart
頭が悪い（atama ga warui）= "head is bad," which of course means...not so smart, thick
Some are not as obvious.
頭が柔らかい（atama ga yawarakai）= "head is soft," which means flexible
Next let's look at 目（me), or eye.
目がいい（me ga ii）= to have a good eye for something
Moving on to the nose, 鼻（hana）.
鼻が高い（hana ga takai）= "nose is high," which means arrogant or haughty
Last, let's look at the venerable ear, 耳（mimi）.
耳が痛い（mimi ga itai）= "ear hurts," which translates as being ashamed to hear
耳が早い（mimi ga hayai）= "ear is fast" = having sharp ears
And, why not, one for the road:
口が堅い（kuchi ga katai）= "mouth is hard," which means you can keep a secret, hold your tongue
Read more about the Japanese language
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Japan Japanese language Expressions face
Thursday, May 15, 2008