Kame no Itte

    Keywords: Humour

Alex Weldon: Funny anecdote. I remembered the phrase "kami no itte" somewhat incorrectly and asked someone who spoke Japanese what the literal meaning of "kame no itte" (rather than "kami no itte") was, whether it literally meant "hand of god," or whether that was a figurative translation. His response:

You probably mean "kami no itte," which would be "one hand of (a) god." "Kame no itte" is "one hand of a duck."

I think my play is probably closer to kame no itte than kami no itte. ;-)

HolIgor: Sounds like a good handle for a new account.

Velobici: Was the person you consulted Japanese? Kamo means duck (the animal) whereas Kame means turtle or tortoise. (Sources: [ext] Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Japanese and the home page of the [ext] Kame Project)

Alex Weldon: Not Japanese, but usually pretty reliable. Guess he made a mistake too. Turtle's even better though. We can use "kame no itte" to describe moves that are too slow. ;-)

John F. Actually kamo no itte would mean a sucker's move. I make no comment as to whether this would be appropriate.

Velobici: Langenscheidt also listed "sucker (person)" in the definition of "kamo". I didn't cite it because it seemed so distinct from "duck", at least in English. Can you give some insight into the connection between "kamo", the animal, and "kamo", the person?

BlueWyvern: "kamo" = "sucker" is an idiomatic usage and doesn't nessisarily translate well. The meaning still literally means duck. Kind of like "spill your guts" or "tipping your hand" in English. Both could be harder to translate outside of a cultural context. Here is another fun one: "hara ga tatsu", literally "one's stomach stands up". The meaning is to get angry or to take offense.

BobMcGuigan: I'll bet it's something like our (American) English use of "pigeon" in the same context.

Alex Weldon: Alright, so kami no itte = perfect move, kame no itte = slow (turtle) move, and kamo no itte = sucker's move (falling for hamete?). Do kama or kamu mean anything in Japanese? :)

BlueWyvern: kama can mean iron pot, stove, kiln, part of fish around the gills, or sickle. kamu is the verb to chew/bite/etc. Incidentally, kami can also mean "hair" or "paper" depending on which character you use. :-) Prolly a few other things too.

Alex Weldon: Interesting. "Kama" means kiln in Korean as well. One language must have borrowed it from the other.

WillerZ: Anyone know what the japanese for the Sleeve Of God tesuji would be?

Incarlight: According to my dictionary, Sleeve Of God would be "Kami no sode"

Somebody: Kama could be interpreted as "gay", even though the usual spelling is "okama".

Kame no Itte last edited by on February 15, 2011 - 19:19
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