Most recent Japanese word you've learned?

Ugh… they just delayed the movie a year… But I guess it’s better for the financials.

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  • ほにゃらら・something-something, blank, ○○
    Learned from this video. It’s how he pronounces the ~, as in ほにゃららにともない.

  • 目上・めうえsuperior(s), senior(s)

  • 目下・めしたsubordinate(s), inferior(s), junior(s)
    Mnemonic: I look up to my superiors and look down on my subordinates.

  • 異性・いせいthe other sex/gender
    This is the same 異 that appears in the 異世界 genre of anime/manga.

  • 電子化・でんしかdigitalization

  • 郷土・きょうど1) native place, old home; 2) province, region, locality
    Used in conjunction with other nouns to give a “local” or “folk” feel, as in 郷土料理 (local cuisine/food/cooking) or 郷土文学 (folk literature).

  • 郷土研究・きょうどけんきゅうnative research, folklore collection
    Here is an interesting paper on the origin and use of this term.

  • 若干・じゃっかんsomewhat, a little; any, a few

  • 接待・せったいentertaining (e.g. a business entertaining important clients and business partners), wining and dining, treating to food and drinks

  • 送迎・そうげい1) seeing off and receiving; 2) transfer service, shuttle service
    Example sentence: (from Weblio)
    接待員は送迎に忙しい。The reception committee are busy welcoming visitors and sending others off.

  • 送迎バス・そうげいばすshuttle bus, courtesy bus, connection bus
    Also (and perhaps more commonly) called シャトルバス.

  • 一切・いっさいwhole, full (commonly used with a negative sense to mean “none at all, absolutely not”)

  • 来館・らいかいarrival to an establishment (e.g. a library, embassy, museum)
    The context I heard it in was a very formal conversation confirming a booking at a fancy ryokan.

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Well, I can’t complain too much because I probably wouldn’t be able to see it in theaters anyway.

虫唾 / 虫酸 (むしず stomach acid coming back up into your mouth, acid reflux, heartburn)

In this thread, I posted a link to a thesaurus entry for きらい, and one of the terms was 虫酸が走る which can be used idiomatically for hating something.

  • 空欄・くうらんempty column, emoty space (i.e. in a grid)
    Collocation: 空欄を埋める – to fill in the blank(s), to fill in a grid

  • 欄干・らんかんrailing, handrail, guardrail, balustrade, parapet

  • 概要欄・がいようらんdescription box (i.e. for a YouTube video or a podcast episode)
    Heard this word shortly before posting this, and was delighted when I realized that it’s the same 欄 that I started this post with. It was used in this episode of Nihongo Switch, where the host informs podcast listeners that they can find a link to the YouTube version in the episode description.

  • 感染・かんせんinfection
    Being dyed in feelings may sound nice, but unfortunately those feelings are caused by a virus.
    The disease with which one is infected is marked with に.

  • 自主隔離・じしゅかくりself-isolation
    Upon hearing this, I briefly wondered if it might be releated to 隠す, as they both have a かく. However, that’s a kun’yomi, and the one here is an on’yomi, so although there is an archaic word 隠る, this is no doubt purely coincidental. It does make for a decent keyword mnemonic, though: self-mastered concealment

  • 経過・けいか1) passage of time, elapsing; 2) progress, development, course of events
    Keyword mnemonic: This is like 結果, but more drawn out.

  • 参照・さんしょうreference, consultation (used as a する verb to say things like “please reference/consult this table”)

  • 悪しからず・あしからずjust so you know; unfortunately; don’t get me wrong, but …
    Heard in this video, where Masahiro Sakurai explains that he is not hiring, and finishes off with a small bow and 「悪しからず」.

  • 苔・こけmoss

  • 苔生す・こけむすto become covered in moss
    生す is commonly spelled using kana … because, honestly, do we really need another reading for 生.
    This reading, by the way, is connected to the words 娘 and 息子, and also to the むすび that sometimes sees in the names of various kami.

  • 掃苔・そうたい1) visiting a grave; 2) removing moss from a grave

  • 苔桃・こけももlingonberry
    Normally written using kana, but I just love this word: moss peach

I don’t think it’s the most recent, but I learned ひとみ from reading the lyrics to the song Orion, and it’s sticking, so I’m counting it as learned.
(Pupil of the eye.)

  • 宴・うたげparty, banquet, feast
    Kanji mnemonic: There’s a lid (宀) covering the sun (日). A woman (女) is trying to bring the sun out again. She knows the only way to do this is to hold a big party to make the sun jealous, just like when Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto did to lure Amaterasu-ōmikami out of Ama-no-Iwato!

Woodblock print of Uzume dancing outside Ama-no-Iwato, as Amaterasu watches from the cave.

  • 堰・せきdam, weir, sluice

  • 堅固・けんごsolid, strong, firm

  • 築く・きずくto build, to erect, to construct

  • 加護・かごdivine protection
    Keyword mnemonic: People pray for basket (籠). Why would they do that? Well, this isn’t just any basket they’re praying for; it is the basket of divine protection, which God places over villages to protect them.
    Incidentally, this basket is also known as “Kago, the bamboo dragon”, which is why “basket” is written 籠, even to this day.

  • 近世・きんせい1) recent past; 2) early modern period

  • 制する・せいする1) to hold back, to rein in, to bridle; 2) to get the better of; 3) to control, to command
    In the text I’m reading, this is used to described controlling or taming a river.

  • 洪水・こうずいflood, flooding

  • 儲ける・もうける1) to earn, to profit, to gain; 2) to bear/beget a child; 3) to have a stroke of luck
    Keyword mnemonic: モー蹴る. That’s right; I kick Moe, and every time I do, money comes out. Poor Moe; he’s had a rough life, and I hate to kick a man when he’s down … but I keep earning money.


  • 儲け話・もうけばなしget rich quick scheme

Just started trying to pick up Kanji learning again since I’ve been out of my language school for about 3 years now and even though my spoken Japanese is quite good (my wife is Japanese and through living in Tokyo /studying at language school for 2 years etc) I close to never have to read much Japanese or try to remember kanji.

But I did pick up a cute little saying a couple of months ago 余裕のよっちゃん -> no problem/ piece of cake!


国立天文台 — well, I had to put it in Google Translate for the meaning, but I was so surprised when I realised I knew the reading! (Yes…it’s from News Web Easy :joy:)

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I recently looked up いらっしゃいませ’s dictionary form いらっしゃる after blindly accepting it to just mean “welcome” for so long, only for it to turn out that it’s another 参る-like verb, with the double “to come/to go” meaning. I’m guessing the origin as いらっしゃいませ simply comes from using it to mean “come in”, but it adds a lot more depth to something I previously took as a set expression.


締め切り しめきり, “deadline”, from a Japanese friend on why she always works so late.
Okay that took a turn so why don’t we spice it up with a fun fact?

An alternative spelling of 締め切り is 〆切り; that character, 〆, is typable but shows up absolutely nowhere is Japanese dictionaries most of the time and is completely unknown to pretty much all my Japanese contacts!

I’m using it forever now :sunglasses:

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It’s quite common in my experience…? At the school where I work it’s used regularly on the calendar. Do you have an example of a dictionary that doesn’t mention it with しめきり?

〆 is quite common actually. glad you learn the word.

That’s what I’ve been looking at?!? I can’t believe I never learned this before…


I don’t think I’ve learned a new word recently. I’m focusing on spelling and grammar so I’m only noticing familiar words so far.

活字中毒 - book junkie

(thanks to @Naphthalene :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)



Been seeing this one all the time since switching my YouTube OS

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  • 政策・せいさくpolicy, political measure(s)
    Seen in a WaniKani context sentence, but written as 政さく. I wondered if it was related to the さく of 作戦, and it seems the answer is “maybe, maybe not”; 策戦 is in fact a valid alternative spelling of 策戦, but I don’t know how that came about historically.
    In any event, it’s a somewhat decent mnemonic: “political operation” or “political move”.

  • 渚・なぎさshore, water’s edge, beach
    Kanji mnemonic: There is somebody (者) by the water (氵). Clearly, they are on the shore.

  • 汀・みぎわshore, water’s edge, waterside
    Kanji mnemonic: There is street (丁) by the water (氵). Clearly, it follows the shore.
    Etymology: + ぎわ

  • 構え・かまえ1) structure, appearance; 2) stance, pose, posture (i.e. in martial arts); 3) readiness; 4; enclosure-type kanji component (i.e. the 門 in 間 or the 口 in 国)

  • 鎌鼬・かまいたち1) a cut in the skin caused by a whirlwind; 2) [kamaitachi], or “sickle weasel”; a weasel-like yokai that travels with the wind and cuts people
    Found this while looking up 構え, and it has been suggested that this word originated as a corruption of a 構え太刀 (the name of a particular sword stance).
    This term is sometimes used to describe the blades of wind that samurai like to shoot from their swords in anime. It is also the Japanese name for the Pokémon move “Razor Wind”.

  • 訛り・なまり1) accent; 2) dialect, provincialism, patois; 3) corrupted form of a word, mispronunciation
    Commonly spelled using kana.
    Example sentence: 強いスウェーデン語なまりの英語を話します。 I speak English with a thick Swedish accent.
    Keyword mnemonic (kind of): On my first visit to Japan, some people in Hokkaido were eager to teach me some local slang. The first word they taught me was なまら (very), so I’ve come to associate that with regional speech. Hopefully, that will help me to remember what this means.

  • 暗示・あんじhinting (at), suggestion (of)
    Used a lot in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, to say things like “the Stand that suggests (whatever the Stand represents)”.

  • 稀に見る・まれにみるextraordinary, singular, rare
    Example sentence: 稀に見る人格の人だ。 He is a man of rare nobility of character.

必読 - must read

  • 発行・はっこうto publish

  • 付録・ふろくappendix, supplement, included extra issue

  • 極める・きわめるto carry to an extreme
    Transitive analog to 極まる.
    Mnemonic: The game Yakuza Kiwami is named after the related word 極み (“extreme, peak”).
    Etymology/Mnemonic: Related to きわ (“edge”), which also appeared in the etymology for みぎわ in my previous post.

  • チャック・zipper, zip fastener
    I learned this from the WaniKani context sentence 「布が絡んじゃって、チャックがうまく開かないのよ。」, which I interpreted as “Chuck got all tangled up in fabric and couldn’t move properly.”

  • 悪寒・おかんchills (sensation, rather than objective temperature), shakes

  • 予感・よかんhunch, premonition

  • 楷書・かいしょregular script, Kai style, Chinese block characters

  • 飽きる・あきるto get sick of, to get fed up with
    I suspect that this is related to 諦める, but I’m not certain.

  • 応募・おうぼapplication (i.e. for a job, scholarship); entry (i.e. in a raffle, contest); enlistment

  • 習慣・しゅうかん1) habit; 2) custom, social convention
    Once you become accustomed to learning, it becomes a habit.

  • 詐欺・さぎfraud, swindle, trick, scam

  • 鷺・さぎheron
    Keyword mnemonic: Saggi the Dark clown is a fraud. He isn’t really a clown at all; he’s just a heron in disguise.