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Oh, My Ears are Burning! Japanese Idioms 耳が痛い

耳が痛い
mimi ga itai
(of a reprimand) to make one’s ears burn; hit where it hurts

 

 

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When someone says something that hits on a touchy subject or reminds you of a weakness you have, then your “ears hurt.”

Literally, “ears hurt.” The “hurt” in your ears comes from hearing something you don’t want to hear.

彼の忠告を聞くのは、耳が痛い。

kare no chuukoku o kiku no wa, mimi ga itai.
Hearing his advice really hit a nerve.

kare—he
忠告  chuukoku—advice; warning
聞く kiku—to hear; to listen



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