[31 August 2021]
Other Info: It’s a loanword from “sense”
I don’t have a knack for drawing.
Since he has good taste in fashion, even if he’s wearing UNIQLOs, they look expensive
Other Info: It is used more casually in Japanese than English.
This university has awesome “cost performance” because it’s easy to enter but the graduates are often hired by good companies.
Everyone uploads photos of bubble tea on Instagram
(implying that their act is trite/lacking in originality)
[27 August 2021]
A: My boyfriend just called me and said, “I just wanted to hear your voice”😊
B: Would you stop talking about your lovey-dovey relationship? lol
I kicked the ball and it flew into the unexpected direction明後日の方向に議論が進んでいる
The discussion is developing in a completely wrong direction.
He said “Yea that’s my fault. So what?”, admitting his faults in an unrepentant manner.
If we are not allowed to go out, let’s 開き直る (accept the bad condition as is and stop worrying about it) and think about how to enjoy ourselves at home.
[23 August 2021]
Meaning “A polite and humble expression to deny a compliment given by others”
A: You’re good at Japanese.
B: (I really appreciate your compliment, but) no, I’m actually not that good.
[22 August 2021]
Meaning “do, think of, or pay attention to nothing; feel dazed”
I woke up in the morning and spent time doing nothing, and I’ve just realised that it’s noon already.
[21 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “paper driver”
Meaning “an inexperienced driver who hasn’t driven for many years, or has never driven after they got their driver’s license.”
Blog post: ペーパードライバー: Meaning ‘Paper Driver’ in Japlish (Japanese English)
Because I’m a ‘paper driver’, I have to practice driving before travelling to Okinawa.
[20 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “midnight tension”
Meaning “feeling high and bold at midnight”
Other info: This phenomenon is likely to be caused by the lack of sleep, tiredness, etc. The word テンション is a loanword from “tension” in English; see the blog post below for more explanations.
Blog post: 深夜テンション (shinya tension) Meaning “Midnight High” in Japanese Slang
If you write a blog during the “midnight high”, you most likely regret that the next morning.
[19 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “raising (my) hands”
Meaning “be stuck/done, throwing in the towel”
I couldn’t find my earphones after looking for them for 3 hours, so I’m done/throwing in the towel.
[18 August 2021]
Literally “poverty shaking”
Meaning: “leg shaking while sitting”
Other Info: One hypothesis says that the name would come from how people in poverty are shivering cold.
Hey, stop “poverty shaking” as it shakes the desk
[17 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “[listen to] a story half”
Meaning “to take a story with a grain of salt”
Other info: Two use cases: (1) When you want others not to take your story too seriously since it may be wrong or is your biased opinion; (2) When you listen to someone’s story with scepticism
Since I found this information on the internet I want you not to take this too seriously, but it seems people who often change their smartphones often cheat on their partner
[16 August 2021]
Meaning “Stupid people blindly repeat the same thing that they think is useful without considering the other options, or repeatedly say/flaunt the same knowledge/idea that they’ve found impressive (and often learnt from others)”
Like stupid people repeatedly saying the same idea, he’s always saying “Let’s use AI more!”.
[15 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “to receive and sell”
Meaning “to share thoughts/knowledge you’ve (recently) got from others”
Other info: It is often used to indicate (slightly in a self-deprecating way) that the ideas/knowledge you’re sharing are not yours, but someone else’s. It is also used to criticise someone who shows off second-hand information as if they are his/her original ideas.
I’m just sharing what I leant from the book I read yesterday, but gardening seems to be good for health.
[14 August 2021]
“to pretend to know something very well”
I said “That movie is great”, pretending to know it very well, and I had trouble when I was asked which scene is my favourite
[13 August 2021]
“having a penchant for doing an opposite thing to what one is told to do, or what the majority of people do”
Because I have a penchant for doing an opposite thing, when I’m told “Don’t do it”, I feel like doing it.
よいしょ (also よっこいしょ)
[12 August 2021]
Meaning: A “word” that Japanese people cannot resist saying when using a decent amount of physical power, esp. when we lift up something heavy or make ourselves stand up from a chair
Other info: In a casual context, よいしょする means “to act obsequiously towards someone important as if one lifts them up and enhances their sense of superiority and satisfaction”
この箱重そうだな。よいしょ！ This box looks heavy. (*Lifting it up*) Yoisho!
Meaning “one flaw in an otherwise perfect thing/people”
Other info: An antonym of “saving grace” (which doesn’t exist in English, I think)ニンニクは美味しいけど、口が臭くなるのが玉にきずだ
Garlic is tasty; the only flaw is it makes your mouth smelly
Other Info: It is used when one gives away secret information to particular persons only, or everyone in the world.
[9 August 2021]
Meaning “Exaggerate/embellish a story, or one’s appearance in a photo”
Hey, look! This photo beautifies me a lot! (makes me look better than I am)
He has a habit of exaggerating his stories.
[8 August 2021]
Literally “to the extent that (my) hand comes out of (my) throat”
Figuratively “(To want) something desperately”
I want the Prada bag so badly that my hand would come out of my throat!
[7 August 2021]
Meaning “Someone who said a plan/idea first (with a bit of an accusing connotation that he/she should take the lead)”
Other Info: The last character ペ is said to come from 屁 (へ, “fart”), alluding to how a person who says “Did someone fart?” is usually the culprit. The idea that 言い出しっぺ should always take the lead and be in charge of the plan/project/etc. is called “言い出しっぺの法則(ほうそく)” (The law of 言い出しっぺ), although this term is not something you often hear in a daily conversation.
[6 August 2021]
Other Info: On the internet, if (棒) is put at the end of a sentence just like (笑), that usually suggests it is not what the person really thinks. It is often used to make a sarcastic statement.
He just read the letter of apology in a monotone voice and did not apologise from his heart.
[5 August 2021]
Literally “make one’s neck long and wait”
Figuratively “wait for something longingly”
I’ve been longingly waiting for the game I ordered on Amazon.
Other info: It is often used when you pick one thing among multiple options that you find difficult to compare because they are all too good/bad, or because you do not have any preference/opinion/specific answer.
I don’t like any of these clothes, but if I have to choose one, this T-shirt is less worse than the others
* マシだ: not good but less worse/a bit better than the other alternatives
Other Info: This is a metaphor from baseball. It originally means “to pitch a slow ball so that you can surely get a strike (as if one puts an egg on the strike zone)”
Related post: 12 Japanese Idioms and Metaphors about Baseball (Yakyū)
That company has been recently criticised for “pitching a slow ball” by only making similar smartphones
[2 August 2021]
Literal Meaning “parents-not-knowing (tooth)”
Meaning “wisdom tooth”
[1 August 2021]
Literal meaning “to insure”
Meaning “(before you do something) to make an excuse or say something negative about yourself to lower expectations from others”
I made an excuse in advance, saying “Today my condition may not be very good”.