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Point of interest: 調子(ちょうし)

POI
調子(ちょうし) - state or condition
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113 words
This article is based on the essay on 冒 in the Joy o' Kanji essay collection.
In this essay, we find the following sentence:
ちょうし
調子
って
きけん
危険
おか
すな
kotowaza
Don’t push your luck.
This is an interesting turn of phrase. Ordinarily the term
ちょうし
調子
is translated as 'condition', and this is perfectly appropriate when 調子 is found in the very common expression
ちょうし
調子
い (literally, 'good condition'), which is used to describe someone as healthy.
So one might reasonably expect that the expression
ちょうし
調子
る might be something to do with a health problem. However, in fact, 調子 could more literally be translated using the neutral word 'state' - in which case this expression becomes 'surmount one's state', or 'take advantage of one's state', which we can see is leading towards the idiomatic translation used here, 'push one's luck'.

Kanji used in this point of interest

調
チョウ   しらべる to investigate   ととの to be arranged, to be in order   ととのえる to adjust, tune   
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シ   ス   こ child   
リョウ   よ good   
ジョウ   load; power   の to board   のせる to load on   
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キ   あぶない dangerous   あやぶむ to be apprehensive of   あやうく barely, narrowly; almost   
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ケン   けわしい steep   
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ボウ   おか to brave, risk   
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