Vocabs: Parts of the body

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A list of vocabulary of the parts of the body.

頭 (あたま, atama) – head
This word has multiple meanings, it can also mean brain, start or top.

The phrase 頭が良い (atama ga ii) literally good brain, is used to mean smart.

When someone says “頭からやってください (atama kara yatte kudasai)”, chances are they aren’t asking you to do something starting from ‘your head’. Rather, they are asking you to do if from the start.

額 (ひたい. hitai) – forehead; brow

髪の毛 (かみのけ, kaminoke) – hair (on the head)
The word 髪 (kami) can be used alone to mean the same.

首 (くび, kubi) – neck, head

顔 (かお, kao) – face

目 (め, me) – eye; eyes

瞳 (ひとみ, hitomi) – eye; pupil of the eye
Generally the word 目 is used when talking about the eye. However, do note that the word 瞳 refers the the eyes as well. 瞳 is a more poetic way of referring to the eye, and is often used in song lyrics. (E.g. Arashi fans would have heard of the song “瞳の中のGalaxy (Hitomi no naka no galaxy)” or the galaxy in your eyes)

As a medical term, 瞳 would refer to the pupil (of the eye).

眉 (まゆ, mayu) – eyebrow; eyebrows

睫毛 (まつげ, matsuge) – eyelashes

頬 (ほお, hoo) – cheek (of face)

口 (くち, kuchi) – mouth
A common word with multiple definitions. Some other common definitions include – opening, entrance, and taste

唇 (くちびる, kuchibiru) – lips
Although it’s pronounced as ‘kuchibiru’, the kanji is not 口 + something else! It has a kanji of it’s own! Don’t be mistaken!

舌 (した, shita) – tongue

歯 (は, ha) – tooth; teeth

耳 (みみ, mimi) – ear

鼻 (はな, hana) – nose

腕 (うで, ude) – arm
腕 can also refer to skills or ability.

For example when people say “あの寿司屋さんの腕が良いです。” (Ano sushiya-san no ude ga ii desu) They aren’t saying that the sushi shop owner has good arms! They are referring to his skills instead.

顎 (あご, ago) – chin, jaw

髭 (ひげ, hige) – moustache; beard

喉 (のど, nodo) – throat

肩 (かた, kata) – shoulder

手 (て, te) – hand
Another common word with multiple meanings, including but not limited to: handle, help, workmanship and effort.

肘 (ひじ, hiji) – elbow

手首 (てくび, tekubi) – wrist

指 (ゆび, yubi) – finger

人差し指 (ひとさしゆび, hitosashiyubi) – Index finger.
Ahh… here comes all the ‘fingers’ hahaha! 指 means finger. It actually means… ‘people pointing finger’… The name came from the phrase 人を指差す or pointing at people with your finger.

親指 (おやゆび, oyayubi) – Thumb.
The word 親 (oya) actually means parents.

中指 (なかゆび, nakayubi) – Middle finger; long finger; second finger; tall finger; middle toe; third toe.

薬指 (くすりゆび, kusuriyubi) – Ring finger; fourth finger.
薬 (kusuri) actually means medicine. So literally it means ‘medicine finger’. I tried reading the Japanese wiki about how this term came about… It seems like it’s because in the old days people used their fourth finger to apply medicine… it could also have come from the believe that the Buddhist God of Medicine bends his fourth finger…

小指 (こゆび, koyubi) – Little finger; pinky. OR Little toe.
In Japanese there is no differentiation between the pinky and the little toe. You’ll have to look at the context to know which is being referred to.

爪 (つめ, tsume) – nail (as in fingernail and toenail)

胸 (むね, mune) – chest; breast
The word can be used to refer to any organ in the chest area. It can be used figuratively to refer to one’s feelings.

心 (こころ, kokoro) – mind; heart; spirit

乳房 (ちぶさ, chibusa) – breast; nipple
When talking about cows, the term would be referring to the udder.

乳首 (ちくび, chikubi) – nipple; teat

お腹 (おなか, onaka) – stomach

腹 (はら, hara) – abdomen; belly; stomach

臍 (へそ, heso) – naval; belly button

背 (せ, se) – back; spine
The word also means reverse or rear side, and height.

背中 (せなか, senaka) – back of the body

腰 (こし, koshi) – back; lower back; waist; hips

腰間 (ようかん, youkan) – hips

ヒップ (hippu) – hips; buttocks; backside
A borrowed word from English. In Japanese however, it can also refer to the butt region. This word can also mean hip as in ‘cool/trendy’.

尻 (しり, shiri) – buttocks; bottom

股 (もも, momo) – thigh

膝 (ひざ, hiza) – knee

足 (あし, ashi) – foot; leg

足首 (あしくび, ashikubi) – ankle

踵 (かかと, kakato) – heel

ヒール (heeru) – heel
Directly taken from English.

つま先 (つまさき, tsumasaki) – toes; tips of the toes

Definitions from jisho.org.

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