🌸“show the white feather”(弱音を吐く):弱音を吐いたっていいじゃないか!

“show the white feather”は「弱音を吐く」「怖気づく」という意味です。

なぜ”white feather(白い羽)”という言葉が使われるのでしょうか?




“a white flag”(白い旗)と言えば、降参したり諦めることを意味しますね。


(Why is the word “white feather” used?  “A white flag” means surrendering or giving up. So, at first I thought that this came from this “a white flag”….)


でも辞書によると白い羽をもった雄鶏は弱いと言われ、闘鶏に向いていなかったようです。それで、「白い羽を見せる(=show the white feather)」は臆病者を意味するようです。

(But a dictionary said that roosters with white feathers were regarded as weak, and were not suitable for cockfighting. So, “show the white feather” means to act like or appear to be a coward.)


🌸エッセイ: 弱音を吐いたって、いいじゃないか!

「Showing the white feather」は、泣き言を言うとか、怯えた振る舞いを意味します。これに少し似た言葉で、日本語で「白旗を挙げる」という諺があります。何かを諦めると言う意味で、もともとは降参するという意味です。

Showing the white feather means whining or behaving in a cowardly manner. In relation to this, in Japanese, there is another proverb somehow related to this which says, “to show the white flag” or “to raise the white flag”, which means, to give up something or to surrender.



I also like another proverb, “strike back with regaining lost grounds“, which means that after being defeated in a battle, one has regained his strength and fights back.



This is quite similar to “recover lost ground“, which means to become successful after delays or problems. This very much applies to our lives.



We sometimes experience drawbacks like fail exams, lose customers or business. In such cases, we sometimes tend to feel regretful and speak negatively, but we still have another chance.



So as long as we remain on our tracks and move continue to move forward, we will eventually regain the things we’ve lost. And so will I.



Many people associate “showing the white feather” with losing. Well, it may be true sometimes, and we tend to make feeble complaints.



The more difficulties we go through, the easier it is for our wills to get broken. But as long as we stand our grounds and keep trying until we accomplish our goals despite countless failures, whining will just be whining.



These negative emotions, no matter how strong and frequent they are, still doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the battle.



These negative emotions can be translated into, “I’m facing a dreadful reality, but I don’t want to give up. I just don’t know what to do now.”



Those who whine might just desperately want to turn things around for them. They want to change the negative situation into positive ones.



I believe whining for a while is better than doing nothing or plainly giving up.



The bottom line is, regardless of how you react to the difficult situation, whether it is showing the white feather or temporarily raising the white flag, to try to keep moving forward is a must.



□ whine【hwáɪn】自動詞:泣き言を言う、愚痴をこぼす、不満を言うなど

□ in a cowardly manner: 臆病な行動で





□ regain lost ground:(問題・遅延などが生じた後)巻き返しを図る、再び勢いを取り戻す


□ drawback【dɹɔːˌbæk】可算名詞:欠点、不利益、うまくいかないことなど



fault, defect, shortcoming, weaknessをご紹介しますね。いずれも可算名詞です。










人に対して 機械などの欠陥や故障 物や物事の欠点、弱点 計画など上手くいかないこと、弱点
fault(s) 性格上の欠点、弱点 ● ● ●
defect(s) 体の障害 ● ● ●
drawback(s) ― ― ● ●
shortcoming(s) 性格上の欠点、弱点 ― ● ●
weakness(s) 性格上の欠点、弱点 ● ● ●




【人の性格】She doesn’t know what her partner’s faults are.



【機械の故障】This food processor has a fault in its sensor. The sensor doesn’t work now.




【物の欠点】The fault in this painting is there are too many colors in it.



【計画など】The fault in the plan was that some risks were not accounted for.




【人の障害】After the car accident, he developed a defect in his legs and became disabled, so now he is a wheelchair user.



【機械の故障】The defect in the gadget was the reason I asked for a refund from the seller.



【物の欠点】The company’s case was sent to prosecutors out of tremendous defects in their products.



【計画など】The defects of our program is that it won’t succeed without enough budget.






【物の欠点】The cosmetic is way too expensive, but it doesn’t have any drawbacks at all. 


The drawback of this condominium is, it’s way too far from the nearest station. 



【計画など】The construction work has been stopped because some construction plans were found to have drawbacks.




【人の性格】His only one shortcoming is that he is full of himself! 




【物の欠点】The drama’s shortcoming is its poor choice of the actor to play the main character.  If the main character is not her, the drama would have become more famous.



【計画など】The customer visit plan has a shortcoming. The train transfer plan is wrong, so the plan can’t go smoothly. 




【人の性格】My weakness is, being too shy to speak in front of many people.



【機械の故障】The weakness of the device is it cannot function without the internet.



【物の欠点】I’m writing about the weakness of this movie.



【計画など】The weakness of this plan is that it doesn’t have a back-up.