Japanese 4-Letter Idioms 2

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四字熟語 (yo-ji-juku-go) are four-letter idioms. These are different from words that are made up of four characters. Let's go over some of the most common yojijukugo, and take a quiz to see if you understand them!

Yojijukugo Idioms 2 Quiz!

Before you take the test, lets study some new idioms




暴飲暴食
(bouin boushoku)
drinking and eating too much

drinking and eating too much

kanjiromajimeaning
bouaggresive, outburst
indrink
bouaggresive, outburst
shokueat

暴飲暴食は体に良くない。
Bōin bōshoku wa karada ni yoku nai.
Excessive eating and drinking is not healthy for your body.


変幻自在
(hengen jizai)
quick, ever-changing

quick, ever-changing

kanjiromajimeaning
henunusual
genphantasm
jioneself
zaiexist

新しく発見された生物は、変幻自在に動ける。
Atarashiku hakken sare ta seibutsu wa, hengen jizai ni ugokeru.
The newly discovered lifeform can shapeshift.


自業自得
(jigou jitoku)
getting what you deserve, consequences

getting what you deserve, consequences

kanjiromajimeaning
jioneself
goubusiness
jioneself
tokugain

あんな事をして捕まるのは、自業自得だ。
Anna koto o shi te tsukamaru no wa, jigōjitoku da.
You deserve to get caught if you do something like that.


十人十色
(jyunin toiro)
ten people, ten ideas; everyone has their own ideas

ten people, ten ideas; everyone has their own ideas

kanjiromajimeaning
jyuten
ninpeople
toten
irocolors

みんな好みと趣味が違う、十人十色だ。
Minna konomi to shumi ga chigau, jūnintoiro da.
Everybody has different likes and tastes.


無我夢中
(mugamuchuu)
being absorbed in, losing yourself

being absorbed in, losing yourself

kanjiromajimeaning
munothing
gaiego
mudream
chuuinside

無我夢中に、ゲームにはまってる。
Mugamuchū ni, gēmu ni hamatteru.
I'm really into this game.


七転八起
(shichiten hakki)
fall seven times rise eight, not giving up

fall seven times rise eight, not giving up

kanjiromajimeaning
shiseven
tenfall seven times rise eight, not giving up
hakieight
okiwake

七転八起しても、諦めない。
Shichitenhakki shi te mo, akirame nai.
Even if I fall seven times and rise eight times, I won't give up.


絶体絶命
(zettai zetsumei)
desperate situation

desperate situation

kanjiromajimeaning
zediscontinue
ttaibody
zetsudiscontinue
meifate

隕石がこの地球に落ちてきたら、絶体絶命だ。 
Inseki ga kono chikyū ni ochi te ki tara, zettaizetsumei da.
If a meteor fell onto earth, we would be in a desperate situation.


一目瞭然
(ichimoku ryouzen)
apparent

apparent

kanjiromajimeaning
ichione
mokueye, sight
ryouclear
zennatural, the way it is

この状況を見たら、一目瞭然だ。
Kono jōkyō o mi tara, ichimokuryōzen da.
If you look at this situation, it's apparent.


危機一髪
(kiki ippatsu)
by a hair's breadth, close call

by a hair's breadth, close call

kanjiromajimeaning
kidanger
kimachine
ione
ppatsuhair

危機一髪で、タイムセールに間に合った。
Kikiippatsu de, taimu sēru ni maniatta.
I made it to the time sale by a hair's breadth.


奇想天外
(kisou tengai)
fantastic idea

fantastic idea

kanjiromajimeaning
kistrange
souidea
tenheavens
gaioutside

こんな発明は、奇想天外だ!
Konna hatsumei wa, kisōtengai da!
An invention like this is a fantastic idea!