日常茶飯事 (にちじょうさはんじ, nichijousahanji) indicates a common or daily event/incident. This word is often used with a bit of irony to indicate a negative incident that is not supposed to happen frequently. For instance, “残業は日常茶飯事だ” (zangyou ha nichijou sahanji da) means “working overtime is 日常茶飯事 (quite usual)” and “暴力は日常茶飯事だ” (bouryoku ha nichijou sahanji) means “Violence is common/prevalent”. This word is also used to describe something so common that nobody regards it as a special event anymore.
日常茶飯事 consists of the two words “日常” (nichijou) and “茶飯事” (sahanji). The former means “daily life”, and is included in the title of a famous Japanese anime “男子高校生の日常” (danshi koukousei no nichijou), that is “Daily Lives of High School Boys”. When used as “日常的” (nichijou teki), it works as a na-adjecitve meaning “daily”. For instance, “日常的な光景” means “daily scene” and “日常的な場面” means “daily situation”.
The latter word “茶飯事” (sahanji) means “common/ordinary events” and is composed of an interesting combination of the three kanji characters: the first kanji “茶” (sa) means “tea“, the second “飯” (han) means “rice” or “meal“, and the last one “事” (ji) means “thing“. Therefore, it describes an event that is as common or ordinary as drinking tea and eating rice for Japanese people.
日常茶飯事 is pronounced as “nichijou sahanji”. In general, 茶 is pronounced as “cha” as in “お茶” meaning “tea”, but here it is pronounced as “さ (sa)“. This unusual pronunciation also applies to a few other words such as “喫茶店 (kissaten)” meaning “cafe” and “茶道 (sadou)” meaning “tea ceremony”.
A: Isn’t it great that we can have free BBQ on campus??
B: Well, it is 日常茶飯事だ (very common) here in Australia.
It is 日常茶飯事だ(quite usual) that he comes late.
In old-fashioned companies, it is 日常茶飯事だ（common） that a boss forces his/her subordinates to drink alcohol.
(Note) アルハラ is an abbreviation of the Japanese-English term “alcohol harassment”. Learn more at : セクハラ and its derivatives
Synonyms: 日常的な出来事（a daily event）
Synonyms in English: common, daily, everyday, usual
Related words and phrases: 日常 (daily life)