四字熟語 [よじじゅくご] – four-character idiomatic compound
- 四 [シ・よ・よん] – four
- 字 [ジ・あざ] – character
- 熟 [ジュク・うれる] – ripen; mature
- 語 [ゴ・かたる] – word; language
As you can see, an idiom is a “matured/ripened word.” 四字熟語 are among my favorite things in Japanese. In the future, I intend to bring more 四字熟語 to your attention, but in the meantime, here are a few examples:
一日千秋 [いちじつせんしゅう] – One-Day-Thousand-Autumn – To wait impatiently; each moment seeming like an eternity.
七転八起 [ななころびやおき・しちてんはっき] – Seven-Fall-Eight-Rise – Always picking oneself up despite repeated failures.
以心伝心 [いしんでんしん] – By Means Of-Heart-Transmit-Heart – telepathy; direct heart-to-heart communication
一期一会 [いちごいちえ] – One-Time-One-Meeting – a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. (Interestingly, “Forrest Gump” was titled 一期一会 in Japan.)