Difficult Japanese pun (at least for learners like me)

Yesterday’s calendar riddle was:
image
with the hint:

image

The solution given today is:

image

I first thought that it meant ‘biking’ and I didn’t understand the connection to the eating portions in the question. But jisho told me that it stands for ‘viking’ which is used as an abbreviation for ‘Smörgåsbord’. This made me understand …

  • I got it immediately after reading the question
  • I got it after reading the hint
  • I got it after reading the solution
  • I got it after reading the jisho entry
  • I am still wondering …

0 voters

7 Likes

OMG! :rofl: That’s just too difficult to get! I would never made the connection. And no wonder, the Vikings didn’t eat smörgåsbord! It’s a food tradition from the 19th Century. :joy:

5 Likes

BTW:
jisho says that it doesn’t have an entry for ‘biking’ but nevertheless gives an example sentence with バイクに乗るの.

2 Likes

to be fair, it does return the viking entry if you search for ‘baikingu’ though :grin:

1 Like

I think that’s because “biking” is not a proper English noun (see biking - LEO: Übersetzung im ­Englisch ⇔ Deutsch Wörterbuch) but rather an abbreviation? Jisho does have bicycling - Jisho.org though.

2 Likes

Just FYI, I have a feeling it’s more generally used to mean ‘buffet’. A buffet of any kind. Perhaps I’m wrong.

EDIT: OK, both the Meikyou (3rd edition) and Shinmeikai (8th edition) dictionaries corroborate what I’ve just said.

7 Likes

That’s what jisho says, too. However I like the derivation from Viking:
Viking → Smörgåsbord → buffet

4 Likes

Daijirin agrees with you as well. They say the name was derived from Smörgåsbord but is now used for buffets of any kind.

4 Likes

This is my problem with reading katakana-ised English words. If you’ve never seen the word before, it’s very difficult to guess the original English word. And on top of that, there are too many wasei-eigo words that are basically just butchered English.

2 Likes

According to Daijirin, バイキング is just an abbreviation, and the real name is バイキング料理 which makes a bit more sense, I guess…

4 Likes

Which is basically what a smörgåsbord is, but also not. There’s more snaps for sure at a smörgåsbord! :wink: :clinking_glasses:

5 Likes

I just found another wasei example in the bicycle context:
bike shorts: レーサーパンツ from ‘racer pants’,
which is itself abbreviated to レーパン !

4 Likes

The free version I have on my iPhone doesn’t mention that, but I guess it’s probably an older edition. I think the current Apple device edition is the 3rd edition, whereas the latest in the 4th. (Could also be that I missed something in the definition, of course.) Are you using an app for Daijirin?

What are snaps actually? An alcoholic drink? (Reminds me of the German word “Schnaps”, but I have no clue.)

This made me think of RayBans. Lol

4 Likes

I’m using the paid version of Daijirin, it can be (bought and) used from an app called “Dictionaries”. Here are the two entries in question:

3 Likes

That would be my take on it as well - high-voltage alcoholic drink.

I think the two are somewhat inseparable :rofl:

3 Likes

Yes! What @NicoleIsEnough It’s 40% herb flavored liquor drunk with some traditional feasts, like smörgåsbord for Easter and Christmas. :slight_smile:

Also, popular at Midsommar and Kräftskivor (fresh-water crawfish eaten in the autumn). :lobster:

Expect singing before drinking! :grin:

4 Likes

Does this picture show a 一人分 or a 二人分?

3 Likes

From the glasses I count, I’d say it’s a 三人分 :wink:

1 Like

To be fair, English speakers also butcher the Japanese language, for example by slapping the title “Sukiyaki” to a song that has nothing to do with food.

3 Likes