Before we get too much distance between ourselves and last week's 喧々囂々、侃々諤々、喧々諤々 EXPLOSION, I want to take the time to address a legitimate concern that reader Alex addressed in the comments section: that shit was hard.
Not only are the kanji involved ridiculous, but the first two expressions are rarely used in conversation, and the third is actually not even a real yo-ji!
If only there were a good 四字熟語 that meant roughly the same thing, was easy to use, even easier to remember, and contained a kick-ass sword-fighting metaphor... Oh, wait.
1. A fierce clashing of words, resembling a fierce clashing of swords.
According to the 「四字熟語」これだけ辞典, which we also posted on today, this yo-ji can also be written like so: 丁丁発止. Internet searches reveal tons of examples of both, but since the book lists 打打発止 as the primary form, and the book has the virtue of being ancient, we're gonna use it as well.
丁々, as Rikai-chan will tell you, is the sound of chopping, and also lends itself to the sound of metal on metal. I'd imagine it as more metallic sounding, but then, I've never heard a mouse say ちゅう either. 発止 gets translated as "a loud clack;" the kanji, meaning "halted departure," convey the idea of something in motion (like a sword) coming to a quick, sudden stop (when it hits another sword).
Sounds like 打打発止 could be used in close proximity to one of Brett's earliest posts: しのぎを削る.
I wonder what those two Americans are saying. They're always shouting back and forth in English, like they're having a fierce dispute, but I've heard that they're actually really close.
If you ever have the opportunity to use this in connection with an actual sword fight, feel free. It can work literally as well.
Challenge: If you know who that anime character is at the top, quick, tell me where I can download a copy of that... I'm incredibly embarrassed to admit that it's the ONLY incarnation of that franchise that I haven't seen.