にわか (にわか, niwaka) is a Japanese slang word that describes newbies in a negative way. It is often used to criticise pretentious beginners who behave as if they have a lot of knowledge and experience about what they started a couple of weeks/months ago. One of the most common phrases is “にわかファン” (niwaka fan), meaning “a bandwagon fan”, who supports a particular team or person as soon as they have become popular or trendy. For instance, every time the FIFA world cup comes around, you see a sea of “にわかサッカーファン (niwaka soccer fan)” popping up out of nowhere and expressing their “passion” about football.
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Generally, にわか (niwaka) is used as an adverb “にわかに” (niwaka ni) meaning “suddenly” or “immediately”. For instance, “にわかには信じがたい” (niwaka ni ha shinji gatai) is a common expression that literally means “I cannot believe it immediately”, that is, “I find it hard to believe”. Also, the word “にわか雨” (niwaka ame) is a common word, that literally means “sudden rain” and indicates rain that falls suddenly. See the link below for a variety of Japanese words related to 雨.
(note) As in this example, にわか is also often used as a mean of self-deprecation.
Niwaka of weight training often rambles on how important it is to drink protein.
After having won the tournament, the team suddenly got a lot of attention.
Synonyms: 初心者 (beginner)、新参 (newcomer)
Synonyms in English: beginner, newbie, bandwagon fan
Related words and phrases: にわか雨 (rain shower)