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  2. Do you know the Japanese four-character idiom: 一石二鳥? The meaning and the origin of the idiom.

Do you know the Japanese four-character idiom: 一石二鳥? The meaning and the origin of the idiom.


Hi.

In daily life in Japan, we often use Yojijukugo(four-character idiom), proverbs and various idioms.

Each has a different meaning that comes from Japanese culture and history.

Do you know some of them?

 

Today, I’m introducing the Japanese yojijukugo, four-character idiom: 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho).

It’s very popular yojijukugo, so some of you may already know what it means and how it is used in conversation.

Firstly I’m telling you the meaning of the four-character idiom, and then focusing on how you use it with some examples.

 

I’m sure you will feel like using the yojijukugo in conversation!

 


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1. The meaning and the origin of the four-character idiom: 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho)

 


 

The four characters literally means that a man kills two birds with one stone.

一石(isseki) is a stone, and 二鳥(nicho) is two birds.

As a four-character idiom, 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho) means that one achieves two things in an action.

 

The origin of the Japanese four-character idiom is, as you can easily imagine, a man threw a stone and it hit two birds, which fell from the sky.

 

The man did not intend to hit the stone to a bird, but luckily he got two birds.

In the past, the yojijukugo was only used when someone wanted to tell others that he had a good luck without intention as a result of his action, but today it’s used in the both meanings; someone accidentaly had a good luck , and some one intend to have a good luck.

 

 

2. How to use 一石(isseki-nicho), and the examples

 


 

Now you know what the four-character idiom 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho) means.

Then, I’m focusing on the usage of the yojijukugo, 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho).

 

Here are some examples of how to use the four-character idiom.

 

* 好きでやっていた事がお金になるなんて、一石二鳥だ。

( It is 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho) that I can gain a profit from what I like to do.)

 

* 要らないものを新しいうちに売ると高値で売れるし、場所も空いて一石二鳥だね。

( When I sell things that are new but I don’t need, they can sell at a high price and I can have more space in my room. It’s 一石二鳥!)

 

* 部屋を加湿すると、インフルエンザ予防にもなり、喉を潤す効果もあるので、一石二鳥である。

( Humidifying a room is 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho), and it gives you the effects to prevent from having ful and to moisturise your throat.)

 

 


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3. The synonyms and antonyms of the four-character idiom 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho)

 


 

There are several synonyms of the yojijukugo, 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho).

 

Some famous synonyms are;

一挙両得 (ikkyo-ryotoku)

一箭双雕 (issen-soucho)

一発双貫 (ippatsu-soukan)

 

The antonyms of the yojijukugo 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho) are;

虻蜂を取らず (abu-hachi-wo-torazu)

二兎を追う者は一兎をも得ず (nito-wo-oumono-wa-itto-womo-ezu)

 

Many of the synonyms of 一石二鳥(isseki-nicho) are four-character idioms, and antonyms of the yojijukugo are proverbs.

 

 

 

How was it?

Using Japanese traditional proverbs and four-character idiom enriches your conversations in Japanese, and you may feel interested when you find the deep meaning hidden in the widely-known proverbs and idioms.

 

I hope you enjoy using 一石二鳥 in daily conversation!

 


 


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