腹八分目 literally means “belly/stomach 80%” and indicates the act of eating food until you feel 八分 (80%) full, not 十分 (full/100%).
* 十分 (じゅうぶん) also means “enough”, and 十二分 (じゅうにぶん), which literally means “120%”, means “more than enough/sufficient”,
In Japan, it is widely believed that 腹八分目 is good for your health, which is reflected in the saying, “腹八分目に医者(いしゃ)いらず” meaning “You don’t need a doctor by exercising 腹八分目”. Therefore, lots of people try to stop eating when their stomach feels 80 % full, but it is one of the things that is easy to say but hard to do.
Meaning of 分 (ぶ/ぶん) in Japanese
As in 腹八分目, the word “分 (ぶ or ぶん)” means “10%”, e.g. “五分咲きの桜” means “cherry blossoms in 50％ bloom”. However, confusingly enough, 分 can also mean “1%”, especially when it is used with another unit 割 (わり) meaning “10%” and/or 厘 (りん) meaning “0.1%”. These units are often used to describe sports stats, especially a batting average in baseball (e.g. ３割５分２厘 means “0.352”). And as you may already know, 分 also means “minute” and reads “ふん” or “ぷん” in this case, e.g. ２分 (にふん) and ３分 (さんぷん) mean “2 minutes” and “3 minutes”, respectively.
Popular Posts (Idiom)
- “The moon is beautiful, isn’t it?” Could Mean “I love You” in Japanese
- 十八番 (ohako) Meaning “The Songs You Sing the Best”
- ありがた迷惑 (arigata meiwaku) Meaning “Unwelcome Favour” in Japanese
- 猫をかぶる (neko wo kaburu): Japanese Idiom Meaning “Wear a Cat”
- How The Japanese Word 神 (Kami, ‘God’) Is Used Metaphorically
- Japanese Hubble Expression 手前味噌 (temae miso) – Meaning
- 明後日の方向 (asatte no houkou): Idiom Meaning “Direction of Day After Tomorrow”
Keep it in mind to eat until you feel 80% full.