I wrote the tag wiki for the tag, which is used 11 times and reads:

Phrases with fixed words used as a single unit, many of which are idioms.

We also have a tag which I personally found a bit vague so I didn't tackle its tag wiki. Now that it has been written it reads:

A set phrase used commonly in the Japanese language

So does this mean the latter tag is in fact vague, or is it functionally a synonym for the former? Or do we just need to reword one or both of them to clear up how they really differ?

1 Answer 1


I do not think that is a good tag because it is too vague to mean anything. Expressions can be anything written or spoken, and they can be words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs or the entire text. I would like to discourage its use, and instead encourage to use more specific tags such as or (the latter is currently not in use).

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    I can imagine phrase and sentence being useful, but I can also imagine them being vague too. I wonder if we can think of some example or model type questions for each that set-phrase and idiom would not be suitable for. Jun 18, 2011 at 23:10
  • @hippietrail: How about this question and this question? なるほど, やっぱり and って感じ are words or phrases, but calling them set phrases or idioms is stretch at best. Jun 19, 2011 at 4:24

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