Jul 26, 2005

Kotowaza of the day: Just don't touch the mouldings


Hame-wo hazusu

Meaning of Japanese:
(lit.) to get carried away and remove the wall paneling*

English equivalents:
Cut loose
Let one's hair down
Lose control
Have a wild time
(... often in an excessive manner)

*羽目板 (hameita) is paneling or wainscot. How removing this came to represent reckless abandon is unclear to me, although 羽目 (hame) by itself has come to mean "a fix" or a difficult situation. Another etymological theory assumes that hame evolved from hami (馬銜), a horse's bit. A horse unrestrained by its bit provides a vivid illustration indeed of "wild time."


At 7/28/2005 5:52 PM, Blogger Safety Neal said...

This makes me think of the English phrase to "turn this place upside down", although that's generally in the sense of a radical reorganization of a business or searching for a hidden cache of drugs, money, or weapons rather than a wild party.


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