するする詐欺 (suru-suru sagi) or やるやる詐欺 (yaru-yaru sagi) literally mean “do-do fraud” and are used when someone has said many times that they will do something soon but never do. In other words, it describes the behaviour of people who are all talk and no action.
This idiom can be used for either something a little serious or trivial. For instance, if you promise to marry your girlfriend one day but never even try to propose to her, that’s “結婚するする詐欺” (kekkon suru-suru sagi), meaning “do-do-marriage fraud”. Likewise, if you have said many times you will do your homework soon but haven’t even checked what it is, that’s “宿題やるやる詐欺” (shukudai yaru-yaru sagi), meaning “do-do-homework fraud”.
In fact, “する” (suru) or “やる” (yaru) in the expression can be replaced by any verb depending on what is being procrastinated. For instance, a famous Japanese comedian Yuji Ayabe was once criticized for doing “行く行く詐欺” (iku-iku sagi) meaning “go-go fraud” because he announced many times that he would leave Japan for the U.S to become a Hollywood actor, but kept procrastinating it for a long time. Although he actually managed to start his life in the U.S, a lot of people are still dubious about whether he can be successful in the U.S due to his low English skills.
Repeating verbs in this expression emphasizes the fact that one promises to do something multiple times without carrying it out.
するする詐欺 (suru-suru sagi) or やるやる詐欺 (yaru-yaru sagi) consist of the two parts “するする” (suru-suru) or “やるやる” (yaru-yaru) and “詐欺” (sagi). The first part is a repetition of the verb “する” (suru) or “やる” (yaru) meaning “do”, and the latter means “fraud/scam”. Therefore, it literally means “do-do fraud” and indicates being all talk and no action.
Related Word: オレオレ詐欺 (ore-ore sagi)
Incidentally, オレオレ詐欺 (ore-ore sagi) is one of the most notorious frauds in Japan that are mainly targeted at elderly people. In this expression, オレ (ore) means “I” or “me”, which is normally written as “俺” in kanji. Therefore, ore-ore sagi literally means “me-me fraud”, and refers to the phone scam in which a scammer starts the conversation saying “Hi, it’s me” and pretends to be a son or daughter of the targeted person. Typically, the swindlers con their “parents” into sending them money, saying that they need a large amount of money immediately because they have got involved in financial trouble.
I’m fed up with your “お金返す返す詐欺” (okane kaesu-kaesu sagi; “pay-back-pay-back-money fraud”).
= He has promised many times he would pay me back but never does.
My husband’s yaru-yaru sagi is too awful.
(This means that he always says he will do something soon but never does.)
Basic ○ ○ ○ ● ○Advanced
Standard ○ ○ ○ ● ○Slang
Formal ○ ○ ○ ● ○Informal
Synonyms: 口先だけ, 口だけ: (all talk and no action)
Synonyms in English: all talk and no action, hot air
Related words and phrases: 詐欺 (fraud)