I came across a Japanese person noting that an English term for the Japanese word "heya" (部屋), the training area of Sumo wrestlers, is "sumo stable", and that "stable" is usually a word used for horses. She found it a bit funny. I'm not sure whether she meant "funny" as in "haha", or "funny" as in "strange".

Wiktionary doesn't have any definitions of stable other than a place for animals, or the horses from a stable.

Do English-speakers really view sumo wrestlers as being like domesticated animals, or is there a meaning of "stable" that I'm unaware of?

  • Previously asked on ELU, but they didn't want it.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 10:47
  • Your question there stayed open long enough to get two good answers (one that is very detailed), plus a smattering of comments. I'd be surprised if there is more to say on the matter.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 10, 2013 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


You'll get the same answer here. We use the word stable to mean

"b : a group of people (as athletes, writers, or performers) under one management". It's a sports metaphor, and sumo wrestling is a sport.

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