Interesting Loanwords / Wasei Thread

As for now, I can think or a few, that aren’t intuitive:-


Not to mention that some words usually written in Katakana do have a Kanji form.

Some of this is because the loanwords aren’t always from English. パリ makes sense for example because the “s” in Paris is silent in French :wink:



but for an interesting fact, ‘level up’ comes from wasei eigo!!! It is japanese word order.

oh also i like the verb ググる it means to google.

also アルバイト for part time job happens to come from german Arbeit!


This one (apparently from Saville Row) even gets its own Ateji: 背広

I was wondering about アルバイト when I learned it! Thanks for that!

Mine has to be スマート. It means slim :eyes:


oh スキンシップ is another interesting word I learned recently! It’s the term for physical contact and bonding between people

i learned it because of the skinship mini game in fire emblem fates that was removed for western audiences, and I’m fascinated by the cultural difference that led to that being done, since it was very controversial in english speaking world but not controversial in japan.

In a YouTube clip I watched some time ago, it is written 触れるシーン, but it is read スキンシップ.

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Skinship is the same in Korean (스킨십), which I think is a second generation loanword (English → Japanese → Korean). It’s definitely a strong cultural phenomenon there, especially between same-sex friends.

I don’t know many wasei because I’m at the most elementary level possible in Japanese, but I do know some Konglish words that have come from wasei.

waisyeocheu 와이셔츠 - ワイシャツ - dress shirt
keoning 커닝 - カンニング - cheating
apateu 아파트 - アパート - apartment (obviously)
hojikiseu 호치키스 - ホッチキス - stapler (from the Hotchkiss brand)


I encounter エクラ all the time as a username on the Fire Emblem Heroes app. Have no idea why that would be a common word/name/whatnot. “Eclat” is used in English, too, but quite rarely

I have really forgotten this one, カンニング. I probably wouldn’t realize if I read it in a passage.

I’m not sure how common a word it is in Japanese, but it’s extremely common in Korean, and when Koreans speak English they use it sometimes, it used to confuse me so much… “100% in your exam?! haha…cunning!!!”


サイダー cost me a whole year of happiness. I’m not much of a drinker, so I politely refused the stuff every time it was offered. Finally, after ten months, and barely a month before I was due to go home, I decided ‘sod it’ and bought a bottle of 三ツ矢サイダー… And it was the best lemonade I’d ever tasted…

I was not happy and I must have looked pretty dumb to my friends. It makes me cringe even now.


WHAT?!?!?!? I’ve been not buying this at the コンビニ for that exact same reason.

That one isn’t particularly unintuitive. It’s just a bit of a mangling of the pronunciation.

サービス to mean free or complementary has always boggled me. ペットボトル is a classic as well.

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Off the top of my head:

コンセント outlet
ハンドル steering wheel

Thought of a few more
シュークリーム cream puff
シール sticker
マンション apartment/condo


アンケート / Inquiry… though this one was taken from French ‘enquete’.

GET IT. Well, I love it anyway. It’s just really nice, sweet soda. With absolutely zero alcohol content.

Now, I am curious on how would Japanese Engrish works (in an English sentence structure.)

SMART, CONSENT, and HANDLE are indeed good examples…

BTW, what’s wrong with Cider? (Sorry, not an English speaking native here.)