Uma no Hone

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


the bones of a horse

(an unknown person with no references, a person of unknown background)

Imagine the skeleton of a horse half-buried in the sand. Who knows who the horse was? What of the horse’s master? Nobody knows. That’s the feeling behind the expression when applied to a newcomer in the tight-knit Japanese society. Uma no hone carries a heavy negative connotation when referring to an outsider.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/formal/female)

A: Kekkon mae no musume ga doko no uma no hone da ka wakaranai yoona otoko to tsukiatte wa ikemasen yo.

A: 結婚前のむすめがどこの馬の骨だか分からないような男とつきあってはいけませんよ。

A: Before marriage a girl should not go out with a man of unknown background.

Japanese Idioms

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