Difficult Japanese pun (at least for learners like me)

The Oxford English Dictionary thinks it’s a noun:

The activity of riding a bicycle; cycling. Also in later use: the practice or activity of riding a motorcycle. Sometimes attributive, as biking trip, etc.

Etymology: Originally < bike n.2 + -ing suffix1. In later use also partly < bike v.2 + -ing suffix1. Compare earlier bicycling n., cycling n.

with a first citation from 1883:

1883 Wheelman 1 336 We very modestly declined, informing them that ‘biking’ and drinking are inconsistent.


Ah yes, I have that app too. Thanks for the screenshots!

I think the definitions are still about the same for these two entries though. They don’t explicitly mention all buffets (whereas one of the others I looked at listed ビュッフェ in the definition), but yeah, that definition is very general.

Ah, I see! Makes me think of French pastis, which is anise-flavoured. I imagine snaps is different, but it’s funny how so many of the harder drinks I know involve herbs and about 40% of alcohol. :laughing: Do you like the taste? I quite like pastis, but I find the herbal flavour can be quite overpowering.

Is it that song involving a woman named Sukiyaki? Never really thought about it, but yeah, if you consider what sukiyaki is as a dish… :rofl:

So… ‘don’t drink and ride’ was a thing back then? :stuck_out_tongue: I wasn’t expecting the word to be that old though!


I find that I do. Snaps is more of a kind of alcohol, than a specific drink. It can have all sorts of flavorings. Some are bitter, others are sweeter. others use anis seed or fenel, others use dill. I like one that use a bit of elderflowers for the flavoring. :slight_smile: Should be chilled until near freezing. Don’t drink all in onego, but sing a song, take a sip, eat some more, sing some more and drink some more. The main drink for these festivities is beer. ^^


Oh, that sounds good. Variety is nice. I like elderflower too, but I’ve never really tried it in alcohol.

Doesn’t alcohol dry your throat out as you sing? Hahaha. But it sounds like fun! Very festive indeed.

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Well, that’s what the beer is for. Its what you drink actively to the food. Then people suggest a song, you sing some and have a sip of snaps at the end. ^^

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Well, I guess The Oxford English Dictionary wins :sweat_smile: Thanks for the explanation!

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Naming your daughter “Sukiyaki” is grounds for calling CPS, I think :joy:


I am the only one who have never heard the word “Smörgåsbord” in my life?

I knew バイキング and buffet, but never heard of the swedish word…

For my information, is it a common word in English? Do you write it in english with the fancy accents on the “o” and “a”?

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The fancy accents are only for people with viking blood, like @ekg


In Polish we call バイキング “szwedzki stół” (=“swedish table”) ;⁠-⁠)


It’s not a super-common word; it’s not generally written with the accents. For some examples of the non-food usage (which the OED defines as “figurative. A medley, miscellany; a rich variety or selection”) you can do a google news search, and get examples like:

  • Nearly 200 people have been charged and police have seized more than $250,000 cash and a smorgasbord of illegal drugs
  • Get ready for a smorgasbord of wintry precipitation types this weekend across Minnesota.
  • Christmas discs 2022 – a seasonal smorgasbord: tubas, candles and a deep, deep bass
  • This information will allow researchers to investigate a smorgasbord of science questions, from the impact of rising sea levels on coastal communities to how water moves through the water cycle.

It feels like a bit of a journalist cliche phrase to me, and less likely in more natural writing or speech. Speaking of cliche phrases, watch out for the “veritable smorgasbord”…


Yeah, honestly, I think this is the only sort of expression I’ve seen it in in English. I might have seen it once in some book as well, but it tends to appear in (what seemed to me to be) contexts where it refers to a huge amount of things. I probably haven’t seen it since I was a young child, like about a decade or more ago? Definitely pretty rare. :laughing:

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To be correct, they aren’t accents. They’re different letters of the (Swedish) alphabet. å ä ö


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