AIUEO – Me (め) – Me (目) – Meaning of Eyes in Japanese
Today’s theme is “eyes (目：me)”. Did you know that in Japanese Idioms, the most frequently used word is eye?
Frequently used Expressions
“I woke up (目が覚めて：me ga samete) at 6 today, and had a look at (目を通して：me o toushite) the newspaper while having breakfast. I couldn’t properly see the small print, so I started to feel like my eyes have gotten worse (目が悪くなった：me ga waruku natta) lately…”
I’m sure you’ve all used phrases such as these before. In idioms such as the ones above, eyes have the meaning of being “one of the body’s organs” or “something with the function or workings of looking at things”. In truth, they actually have several other meanings, too.
Today, we’ll look at three idioms where they have the meaning of “the ability to tell the difference between things”. Please have a look at the conversations below.
In a Conversation between Friends
A: Have you seen the new movie by the director Minamino?
B: Yeah, I’ve seen it. The stroller race was great. He sees things differently than others (目の付けどころが違う：me no tsukedokoro ga chigau)– just what you’d expect from a former comedian.
This has the meaning of looking at things in a different way to others, and can be used as a compliment towards others.
In a Conversation between Coworkers
A: The new guy, Yamada is honest, intelligent, and really works well.
B: You’re really not a good judge of (見る目がない：miru me ga nai) character. Yamada is late everyday, his work is full of mistakes, and he never apologizes either. It’s the complete opposite!
This means that someone does not have the knowledge or ability to correctly judge things or people. This is used when you challenge someone’s (or sometimes your own) judgement.
In a Conversation between Lovers
A(Female): This restaurant is great. The service is good, and the food is delicious, too.
B(Male): I looked at so many reviews and considered everything when deciding to come here. Looks like I made a good choice（俺の目に狂いはなかったな：ore no me ni kurui wa nakatta na）.
This is used when you have confidence that your judgement is/was not mistaken. It sounds like you’re full of confidence, so be sure to only use it around people you are close with.
What did you think, everyone? This is only a small snippet of the idioms that use “eyes”, there are much more than you’d believe. Please have a look for some more new phrases, and try your hand at using them, too!
The author for this article is Kumi Tanaka-sensei. She is mainly responsible for the Business Japanese course, JLPT N1 classes, and Intensive courses. Tanaka-sensei is quite popular amongst our intermediate and advanced students! Currently, she is enjoying studying the Vietnamese language.
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