Omei mamire no haiyū.

An actor covered in disgrace.

Situation 1: Mr. and Mrs. Shiba are watching the news at home when the story of an actor announcing his retirement comes on.



Otto: Kono haiyū, ironna josei kara sekuhara de uttaerarete-ita kedo, yappari intai suru no ka.

Tsuma: Atarimae desho. Omei mamire no haiyū nante terebi de tsukatte-moraenai shi.

Husband: This actor, he’s been accused of sexual harassment by various women, as I thought, he’s going to have to retire.

Wife: That goes without saying. An actor covered in such disgrace, TV will have no more use for him.

The pattern Xまみれ, with まみれ deriving from the verb 塗(まみ)れる (to be smeared with/covered in), indicates that a thing or person is covered in “X.” When referring to a tangible thing, it means that the surface of an item is covered in something dirty, such as ほこり (dust), 泥 (どろ, mud), 血 (ち, blood) or 汗 (あせ, sweat):

ほこりまみれの人形(にんぎょう)。 (A doll covered in dust.)

血(ち)まみれの戦(たたか)い。(A battle of much blood.)

With Xまみれ, however, “X” can also be an abstract thing like in Situation 1’s 汚名(おめい)まみれの俳優(はいゆう). Other things with which we can be smeared include 嘘 (うそ, lies), 借金 (しゃっきん, debt) and 屈辱 (くつじょく, humiliation).

Situation 2: Mitsuo comes home from school.



Mitsuo: Tadaimā!

Haha: Matte, Mitsuo, doro darake ja nai! Dō shita no?

Mitsuo: I’m home!

Mother: Wait, Mitsuo, you’re all covered in mud! What happened?

The phrase Xだらけ, in which a noun, “X,” is attached to the suffix “だらけ,” expresses that there is a lot that is dirty or bad covering something or someone.

ごみだらけの部屋(へや)。 (A room with trash all over the place.)

間違(まちが)いだらけの解答(かいとう)。 (A solution riddled with errors.)

When “X” is a non-abstract noun such as 泥, ほこり, 汗 or 血, Xだらけ can be replaced with Xまみれ, but there is a slight difference in nuance. Xまみれ gives the impression that the negative thing covers the surface of the object, while Xだらけ can give the impression that the negative thing goes beyond just covering the surface — 穴(あな)だらけの靴下(くつした) (socks filled with holes) or covering things that aren’t surfaces, like crime scenes:

犯行現場で血 だらけの部屋を発見した。 (Hankō genba de chi darake no heya o hakken shita, “We discovered a blood-covered room at the scene of the crime.”)

Bonus Dialogue: Ms. Aoyama is talking to her senior colleague Ms. Gray on video chat about a thriller she recently watched on DVD.

青山 (あおやま):妻(つま)は夫(おっと)が借金まみれだとわかったとたん、弟(おとうと)に夫を殺(ころ)させたんです。





グレイ:キャーッ、やめて! … あ、青山さん、後ろ、血だらけの人(ひと)が…

青山:え?…あ! キャーッ!





Aoyama: As soon as the wife realized that her husband was covered in debt, she had her brother kill him.

Gray: That cute actress, she played such a role?

Aoyama: In the middle of the night, the moment when she received word from her brother that her husband had been killed, her cute face turned into a smile to make your skin crawl. Shall I lend you the DVD?

Gray: It’s scary, so I won’t watch it. But I’m curious, so talk about what happens next.

Aoyama: Sure. When she’s combing her hair in front of the mirror, behind her a man covered in blood suddenly…

Gray: Eek! Stop it! Ah, Ms. Aoyama, behind you, a person covered in blood!

Aoyama: What? Ah! Nooo!

[Her husband has come back home]

Aoyama: Huh? I thought it was someone else. What happened to you? You’re covered in mud!

Aoyama’s husband: I’m home! On the way back, when I tried to avoid a car, I got splashed with muddy water — it has been dreadful.

Gray: That’s why scary movies are no good!

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