Everyday, I explain a Japanese word or expression that I find interesting and worth sharing. See the top page for the Word of Today (I also share interesting words on my social media accounts). For some words, the links to the relevant blog posts are provided, where I give you more detailed explanations (e.g. Usage, Origin, Related Words)
Meaning “a narrow, exclusive mindset, often exemplified by the act of bashing or ostracising ‘outsiders’, e.g. those who appear to deviate from social norms or standards, or who seem to enjoy privileged opportunities.”
To be candid with you, this isn’t very tasty
There are a lot of hapless men who misunderstand that the heart emoji ❤️ is a sign of “a pulse”.
Other Info: It is used when what you have believed or guessed turns out to be completely wrong
Hanako and Taro are just friends? Because they are very close, I completely thought they would be dating.
逆(さか)立(だ)ちしても[+ negative potential form]
Meaning: “No matter how hard I try, (I can’t do …); it is nearly impossible to do …”
Other Info: It is often used as “逆立ちしても勝(か)てない”, meaning “No matter how hard I try, I cannot beat (someone)”
No matter how hard I try, I can never beat him in Smash Bros.
鬼電 (おにでん) [+する]
[19 October 2021]
Meaning “to call someone millions of times”
Other Info: It’s short for “鬼(おに)のように電話(でんわ)する”, meaning “to call like Oni”. While 鬼(おに, Oni) indicates a mythical Japanese creature, 鬼のように or just 鬼 figuratively mean “so/intensely” (see the blog post above for more details)
[18 October 2021]
Literal Meaning: “When it comes to mochi, a mochi shop (is the best)”
Meaning “It’s always the best to consult an expert.”
When I asked my Japanese friends what are the differences between ni and de, I couldn’t understand them at all, but when I asked my Japanese teacher, I did immediately. Indeed, it is always the best to consult an expert!
A plan to master Japanese in 10 days is a pie in the sky!
[16 October 2021]
I have a Japanese exam tomorrow, but I don’t have much time left so I’ll guestimate the questions and study keigo only
Other Info: When you see or feel someone doing 自作自演, you may say “自演乙 (じえんおつ)”, meaning “自作自演お疲(つか)れ様(さま)”, i.e. “well done on your 自作自演!”. But I feel this expression is getting less common nowadays. It also has a very strong slangy, internet-jargonish tone.
Other Info: It is often used when your wallet gets completely empty (after you gamble away your savings, splurge on fancy clothes, etc.)
Because of the coronavirus crisis, the shelves of toilet paper at supermarkets have become completely empty.
Other Info: That insect was believed to be in your body in the old days. This phrase is often used when you have a premonition of someone’s death, as in the example sentence below.
Suddenly one of my old friends appeared in my dream, and later I found out he had passed away on that day. It would have been the portent of the unfortunate incident.
Meaning: “That is impossible/ridiculous; What a joke”
Other Info: It is used to scorn someone when you hear them saying something ludicrous.
Xの口(くち)になる (X = food/drink)
Meaning: “be emotionally ready to eat X; cannot think about eating anything but X at the moment”
Other Info: For instance, you may have “a mouth for ramen” after watching a TV show that features famous ramen restaurants, or after talking about ramen with your friends.
するする詐欺 (さぎ), slang
Other info: You can replace する with another verb, as in “やめるやめる詐欺 (quit-quit fraud)”