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In Japanese, there's this thing called 横座り (yokozuwari, lit. "side-sitting") that looks like this:

yokozuwari

Basically, you sit on your knees, but then partially swing your legs out to one side. Is there a concise way of describing this in English? A short phrase or a single word; either one would work.

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4 Answers 4

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There is no single word to describe this in English - you have to use a phrase, such as:

She is sitting on the floor with her knees bent and legs to one side.

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Here's a reference, it's an actual stock photo (service used by, eg, ad agencies etc), and

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/woman-sitting-her-legs-side-65983426

the phrase they use is just

"Woman sitting with her legs to the side".

Related. I direct you to "Duchess Slant" (very easy to google).

(I wonder if a Japanese native speaker would think of that as "yokozuwari but on a chair" !)

Finally, I thought of referring to this as "lyre style" - in "classical" images when a woman is playing a lyre, she's inevitably sitting like this! I asked a couple of people if "sitting lyre style" made them think of that position, and yes it did :) So, you never know. It would be interesting to know if there are ay Japanese text references to "classical" paintings of nymphs, etc, playing lyres, and it is described as yokozuwari!


Coda:

enter image description here

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Based on a Google Image search, plenty of results show up for the term "side-sit" and "side-sitting." They all seem to depict this position quite well. To me, "side-sit" appears to be the best way to describe this pose.

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  • Hello, and welcome to the EL&U. Your answer could be improved by providing references. See tour.
    – fev
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 22:46
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The only word I have come across in relation to this mode of sitting is seiza in martial arts and of course the famous tea ceremonies.

Description of this well-know formal Japanese sitting position can be found here

I suppose the shortest description for the sitting position you describe would be a seiza with feet splayed to the left (/right).

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