猫に小判

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
ねこ
Grade: S

Grade: 1
ばん
Grade: 5
kun’yomi on’yomi

Etymology[edit]

Phrase composed of (neko, cat, cats) + (ni, to, directional particle) + 小判 (koban, a kind of traditional gold coin).[1][2][3] Literally, “gold coins to cats”.

First cited to a text from 1687.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ne̞ko̞ ɲ̟i ko̞bã̠ɴ]

Idiom[edit]

(ねこ)()(ばん) (neko ni koban

  1. [1687] to give something valuable to someone who does not understand that value: to cast pearls before swine
    Synonyms: 豚に真珠 (buta ni shinju), 犬に論語 (inu ni Rongo), 馬耳東風 (baji tōfū), 馬の耳に念仏 (uma no mimi ni nenbutsu)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN