Japanese Expression: 泥縄 (doro nawa)

kwa's picture

Do you know the expression 泥縄(doronawa)?

In this image, a woman has caught a thief! However, she doesn't have any rope to tie the thief up so she starts making the rope. While making the rope, the thief gets away. This is the meaning of 泥縄 (doro nawa).

It can be a negative expression or a warning of this type of situation when you are ill-prepared. Catching a thief is a difficult task but what is the point of going through the dangerous, arduous endeavor if you have not done something as simple as preparing a rope? Asian languages are full of cool expressions like this.

Let's break down the kanji:


泥: as in 泥棒 which means thief 縄: rope

There is an expression that comes with this:

thiefo.m.captureropeo.m.to twine
The last part of this sentence is the process of making rope.

So you can use this in a situation where a big effort is wasted because someone was unprepared. For example, let's say you slave all night for a presentation with a big client. However, the next day, you find out you never had a room booked to give the presentation. Now, all your efforts are wasted. This would be 泥縄 "doronawa." Has something like this happened to you before?"

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