Most recent Japanese word you've learned?

白血病 はっけつびょう leukemia

found from the little slip cover thing on Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes

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小馬鹿・こばか・fool
所詮・しょせん・after all, anyway, (cannot) possibly
大人気ない・おとなげない・immature
浅知恵・あさぢえ・shallow thinking
クグモル・to mumble
墨汁・ぼくじゅう・ink
ぽふぽふ・feeling of touching something soft
無様・ぶざま・unshapely, clumsy
不覚にも・ふかくにも・though one didn’t intend to
攻撃力・こうげきりょく・offensive ability
ぎらり、ぎょろり・staring
乱発・らんぱつ・reckless firing
言いがかり・いいがかり・false accusation

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珍紛漢紛 - チンプンカンプン - gibberish; “all Greek to me”

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  • 紐・ひもstring, cordNormally spelled using kana.
    I don’t produce my own hemoglobin. Instead, I have cords of it that I eat whenever I feel weak.

image* 靴ひも・くつひもshoelaces

  • 発掘・はっくつ1) excavation, exhumation; 2) discovery

  • スター発掘・スターはっくつstar-search, star-finding, discovering new talent

  • 候補・こうほcandidate

  • 臨時・りんじtemporary, provisional, interim (の adjective)

  • 気負い・きおいeagerness, enthusiasm, fighting spirit

  • 荒野・こうやwasteland, wilderness, wilds

  • へぼい・clumsy, unskillful, puny
    He-Boy is a bit like He-Man, but not nearly as strong.

  • 無邪気・むじゃきinnocent, simple-minded

  • あどけない・innocent, cherubic

  • 満場一致・まんじょういっちunanimity

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本命・ほんめい・favourite, likely winner, first choice
百般・ひゃっぱん・all, every, all kinds of
釣られる・つられる・to be lured, to be drawn in
やられる・to suffer damage, to be deceived
狡猾・こうかつ・sly, cunning
始末・しまつ・management, dealing with, course of event, end result
痛いの痛いの飛んでいけ・いたいのいたいのとんでいけ・a phrase meaning “pain, pain, fly away”
これ見よがし(に)・これみよがし・showy
硯・すずり・inkstone

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I remember that when I first learned about Japanese Valentine’s Day traditions, I always thought ほんめいチョコ was wasei-eigo for “home-made chocolate”. It turns out that was wrong, but in hindsight, it might have been useful as an accidental mnemonic :stuck_out_tongue:


  • 塀・へいwall, fence
    I want to protect my lantern (开) from getting covered in dirt (土), so I build a wall of corpses (尸); it’s smelly, but effective.
    As I’m sitting there, enjoying my lantern-light, I hear somebody calling out: “Hey! Hey!” I look over at the wall, and the lantern-light falls on a pale, emaciated face. “Hey! Hey!” There’s somebody still living in my wall … or is there?
    Suddenly I hear a second voice, and then a third. “Hey! Hey!” The entire wall is writhing now; I want to get away, but I’m paralyzed with fear. The last thing I hear before the wall comes tumbling down on me is a cacophony of “Hey! Hey! Heeeeeey…”

  • 弾む・はずむto bounce, to spring
    “With a bow, this is easy.” The answer to this riddle is, of course, firing bouncy balls.
    I mostly use this to let my neighbors know that I want to have a Zoom meeting (ha Zoom-möte); I just fire a bouncy ball off the house across the courtyard, and then it bounces into the apartment next to mine and bops my neighbor on the head. When that happens, he/she/they* knows that I want to ha Zoom.
    *I don’t actually know any of my neighbors.

  • 弾・だんcounter for bullets, events, parts of a story
    Uses 単 as a phonetic component, and this reading is just slightly different.
    My bow is so easy to use, I can fire many bullets with it. When I do, I count the number of times my bow goes “DUN!”
    I use my bow to mark important events in my calendar; it saves me the trouble of getting out of my chair. If you hear something go “DUN-DUN-DUN”, it means I’ve marked three events in my calendar.

  • 弾薬・だんやくammunition, ammo
    When do you use bullets as medicine? When your gun is malnourished!

  • 火薬・かやくgunpowder
    You should take this fire drug; it’ll blow your mind.

  • 弾性・だんせいelasticity
    The nature of bouncy things is called elasticity. It is so called because men (男性) are very elastic; that is why they tend to be taller than women, statistically speaking.

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Came across a short text today with a lot of slang terms. (Don’t ask me if these are out-dated or still in use, who knows this might all be equivalent to the “bee’s knees” and similar ilk), but found it fun to read about something completely different from normal. There are a few I won’t post, because I don’t know the specifics of the forum guidelines.

ラブホ (or ラブホテル) – The phenomenon of love hotels, didn’t know about this!

コロン this word took me longer than I’d like to admit given the context of smelling nice (eau de cologne)

Apparently there is the same system as the American First, second … base system in slang, using A, B and C followed by した (I got to X base)

ホストクラブ (host club), these are a type of bar where you go to share a drink with good-looking men. (same exists for drinking with women ホステスクラブ)

ベロンベロン dead drunk / smashed

夜明けのコーヒー found in the sentence 一緒に夜明けのコーヒー飲まない。Love it when idioms have the same meaning in different languages (wanna stay over for coffee?)

あそこ - turns out the same type of euphenism is used as the english downstairs, down there.

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あまねく - widely, extensively, far and wide, all over

In an explanation of the kanji for sea bream (鯛 たい). It’s 魚 + 周, with 周 representing a meaning of “in balance all over”

あまねく調和が取れている

I’m not sure if sea bream are worthy of such a meaning, but it taught me a new word.

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From accidentally throwing my work trousers in the dryer, I learnt パツパツ「と」.

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  • 知らぬが仏・しらぬがほとけignorance is bliss

  • 土蜘蛛・つちぐも1) tsuchigumo, a type of yōkai; 2) term used ti describe people who lived outside the rule of Yamato
    It is unclear which of these terms that came about first.

  • 大土蜘蛛・おおつちぐもtarantula (family)
    Named due to its similarity with the mythical 土蜘蛛.

  • 段取り・だんどりprocedure, protocol, method
    These are the steps you take. And the moves you make. And the vows you break.And the smiles you fake. I’ll be watching you.

  • 順序・じゅんじょorder, sequence, procedure

  • 眩しい・まぶしいbrilliant, radiant
    Can be used literally or figuatively

  • 冴えない・さえないdrab, boring, dull

  • 弟分・おとうとぶんfriend whom you regard as a younger brother
    There is also 妹分, 兄分 and 姉分, with corresponding meanings. 兄分 can also mean the older male in a homosexual relationship; not sure how likely that is to cause confusion.

  • 体質・たいしつ1) constitution (physical); 2) character, nature, type, innate characteristic

  • 一山百文・ひとやまひゃくもんdime a dozen; “100 mon for one heap”
    The version I heard was 一山百円, but this appears to be less commonly used.

  • 呼び捨てにする・よびすてにするto address somebody without a polite name ender (such as -さん)

  • 一躍・いちやくsuddenly, instantly, immediately, overnight
    Literally “one leap”.

  • 躍起・やっきdesperate, frantic, worked up, eager

  • 欣喜・きんきpleasure, joy
    Coming up with a keyword mnemonic for this is almost too easy … and it also works for 禁忌.

  • 欣喜雀躍・きんきじゃくやくjumping for joy

  • 海図・かいずsea chart

  • 貝塚・かいづかshell mound; midden

  • 掻い摘む・かいつまむto sum up, to summarize
    Often spelled using kana.
    Kan be used in phrases like 「かいつまんで言えば…」 (“to sum up”, “briefly stated”).

The last few words came as I was trying to parse a phrase that to me sounded like 「デュエルアカデミアの*かいずま*」, which was translated as “the icon of Duel Academy”. I spent quite a lot of time going over the line over and over again, trying different near-homophones, and looking for possible literary references involving people named “Kaizuma”.
Finally, I decided to just keep watching the video, and a few lines later they repeated the phrase, but this time it was clear that they were saying 「デュエルアカデミアのカリスマ:stuck_out_tongue:

  • カリスマ・1) charisma; 2) charismatic person; 3) star, celebrity, icon, talent, phenom
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起立・きりつ・standing up
Interesting article about this:

悔し泣き・くやしなき・tears of regret
ぺこり、ぺこん・action of quickly bowing one’s head
ベニヤ・veneer, plywood
進行度・しんこうど・rate of progression
半べそ・はんべそ・half-crying, on the verge of crying
通報・つうほう・report, notification, tip
到底・とうてい・(cannot) possibly, utterly, (not) by any means
爪の垢・つめのあか・dirt under one’s fingernails, shred (of decency, etc.)
一息つく・ひといきつく・to take a breather
ちゃらんぽらん・irresponsible, sloppy
最上級・さいじょうきゅう・highest grade

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Been saving up for a few days, as I didn’t want to double-post :stuck_out_tongue:

  • 外科医・げかいsurgeon
    A doctor who takes things out with science. The odd reading is because they receive external funding from General Electric. That’s also why your new heart has a GE logo on it.

  • 怒鳴る・どなるto yell (with anger)
    Mnemonic (Swedish): Det dånar när gudarna skriker ilsket. (It rumbles loudly when the gods yell angrily.)
    Mnemonic (Japanglish): 「D’oh!」鳴る

  • 嗄れ声・しゃがれごえhoarse voice
    Shaggy is trying to call out for Scooby, but Shaggy’s voice is too hoarse from all the weed he smokes. Imagine Shaggy being brutalized by a [ghost / insurance fraudster], unable to call for help because he’s so hoarse.
    This Cartoon Network PSA was produced in partnership with DARE.

  • 解雇・かいこdischarge, dismissal, termination of employment
    Mnemonic (Swedish): If you are kajko (dysfunctional, broken, nuts), you will likely experience 解雇. Imagine your boss stamping your employment contract with a big, red stamp that says “KAJKO”.

  • 蚕・かいこdomestic silkworm
    Mnemonic: The moment your employment is terminated, you scream and transform into a domestic silkworm. Such were the terms of the curse, that if you lost your job before finding true love, you would be transformed into a domestic silkworm. For you, 解雇 and 蚕 are one and the same.
    Now the only job you’ll ever have will be producing silk for the witch.

  • 澄む・すむ1) to become clear/transparent (e.g. water, air); 2) to become serene/tranquil
    Reading mnemonic: Take this with a grain of salt, but I’ve seen various blog posts (such as this one) suggesting that 澄む, 済む and 住む were originally the same word. The original sense was of settling down from a turbulent state to a calmer one. A body of water, a project, a traveler - all can settle down in one way or another.
    Whether it’s true or not, it makes for a decent mnemonic.
    Kanji mnemonic: Have you seen drops of water (氵) climb (登) into the sky? No, you haven’t, because climbing water is clear and transparent. You know it happens all the time, because that’s how clouds are made, but it happens so slowly and serenely that you can’t actually see it.

  • 澄ます・すますto clear up, to make clear
    When Captain America needed to clear New York of Chitauri, he turned to his friend and said 「ハルク。。。スマシてください。」
    Well, actually, he said 「ハルク、暴れろ。」, but that doesn’t help.

  • 澄み切る・すみきるto be/become perfectly clear (e.g. water, weather, sounds)

  • 本草・ほんぞうmedicinal herbs

  • 本草学・ほんぞうがく1) herbalism, pharmacognosy (in general); 2) the study of plants, minerals and animal parts for use in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine

  • 脱落・だつらくshedding, dropping off, omission
    Mnemonic: “That’s rock!” What is, you ask? Shedding social conventions and dropping out of conformist society! Dropping out of school also helps you to become better at rock, as does shedding your skin. That’s rock’n’roll, baby!

  • 信心脱落・しんじんだつらくcasting off the body-mind (Buddhist concept)
    The ultimate form of rock’n’roll.

  • 卑しい・いやしい1) lowborn, lowly; 2) shabby, menial; 3) greedy, avaricious; 4) vulgar, mean
    Etymology: A hand holding a fan. Fanning nobles is the role of lowly servants.
    Reading mnemonic: If you realize that you are lowborn, you will likely say 「イヤァ~!」 a lot. The same also goes if you are vulgar, greedy, or mean.
    Usage: Looking at example sentences, it doesn’t seem easy to distinguish between these meanings; 卑しい心 is translated as “a humble person”, while 心が卑しい人 is translated as “a vulgar person”. I get the feeling that it’s a bit like the English “lowly”; humble to say of yourself, or when said sympathetically, but can also be said condescendingly or resentfully.
    Probably not a word I’ll be using, but good to know.

  • 卑しめる・いやしめるto demean, to look down on, to abase

  • 卑しん坊・いやしんぼうgreedy person

  • 卑屈・ひくつsubservient, menial

  • 痺れる・しびれる1) to go numb, to fall asleep (of body parts); 2) to be mesmerized, to be enthralled, to be entranced; 3) to receive an electric shock
    Often spelled using kana.
    Mnemonic: There are two kinds of “fan disease”: 1) When you fan somebody until you go numb. 2) When you see something you like so much that you become mesmerized.
    Alternatively: You have a thrall’s disease; that’s why you’re so enthralled.
    Reading mnemonic: Who is it that you’re fanb0i:ing/fangirling over so hard? Why, chibi Sheev (or “Shibi” for short), of course! You’re so mesmerized by Sheev, your entire body goes numb; it’s like you’ve received an electric shock!

  • 滞る・とどこおる1) to stagnate, to be left undone; 2) to be overdue, to be outstanding
    Kanji mnemonic: There is water (氵) rushing towards you, but you use your belt (帯) to stop it, and cause the flood to stagnate.
    Keyword mnemonic: Looks like a mix between 止まる and 凍る; something that stops and freezes.
    Alternatively, you have a piece of paper to says “TO DO: 凍る”. It seems even your stagnation is overdue.

  • 渋滞・じゅうたいcongestion (e.g. traffic), delay, stagnation
    Mnemonic: Why is there traffic congestion? Because somebody has taken the 十-shaped intersection and tied it into a knot, making a 十-tie.

  • 危うい・あやういdangerous, perilous, facing impending danger
    Keyword mnemonic: When you hear somebody shouting “AAH! YOWIE!”, you know there’s something dangerous up ahead.

  • フリーター・freeter, person who subsists on part-time work (short for フリーアルバイター)

  • メルヘン・fairy tale (from German “Märchen”)
    Mer-hens only appear in メルヘン.

  • 密航・みっこう1) stowaway; 2) people-smuggling
    Looking at example sentences, it appears that the first sense is more common, even when being used as a する verb.

  • 得手・えてforte; success; getting what one wants

  • 猿公・えてこうmonkey, ape; personification of a monkey/ape
    Not common in everyday speech, but may be heard in stories involving monkeys or apes. It is sometimes translated as “Mr. Monkey”.
    May have originated as a pun. is more or less the opposite of , and are more keen on grabbing things than they are on letting them go. They are getters, or 得手.

This also (partially) helps to explain Etemon.

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