The 'Vocabulary Mnemonics' Thread

There are some difficult-to-remember words on Wanikani because the meaning of the word doesn’t really match the meaning of its Kanji.

For example, I’ve recently encountered a prime example of this-
規模 (きぼ)

Vocabulary Meaning:
Scale, Scope, Size

Kanji Individual Meanings:
規 : Standard
模: Imitate

Meaning Explanation:
The standard of imitation is to imitate to the scale and scope of the original.

As you can see, the Meaning Explanation is meh. I can’t blame Koichi and gang though, it is very difficult to link the meaning of the particular word with its Kanji. So in this forum, feel free to leave any word where you can’t fully internalise the Meaning Explanation, and hopefully, a kind stranger in the WaniKani Community can provide a better and mnemonic for the Meaning Explanation than the one given by Wanikani! :smiley:

I’ll start first~



feels like I’m getting more of these around level 20. Some of them are so weird that I remember them purely on novelty but I’m finding the ones that are just one step away from making sense are the ones I randomly forget.
like 嫌味(dislike;flavor) being hurtful words. It’s not totally illogical like yours but I still keep forgetting it.
Also, don’t get me wrong because I love WK a ton so far and would not be learning japanese half as good without it, but a lot of the mnemonics that are just "the [kanji 1] of [kanji 2] is [vocab word]!’ are getting a bit of a side eye from me.


Yeah, once you reach N3 Vocab, the mneumonics don’t really stick as well as N4 and N5 in my opinion. I find that many words have next to no relation to the meaning of their Kanji.

But to help you out on 嫌味、my personal mneumonic for 嫌味 is

“You told your mum that you actually dislike the flavour of her food. Which kid tells his mum that? These are the most hurtful words that a mum can hear.”


Psst. There’s no U in mnemonic. It’s not “pneumatic”. :stuck_out_tongue:


I know it takes more time, but I look up each kanji that I get in lessons (I only do 3 a day, so not too onerous) to get a more rounded look at it’s meanings:

規: Standard, also Measure
模: Imitatation, also Copy, Model, Mold

Now, my husband is into model planes and trains (and a few automobiles), so that might give me a wee knowledge advantage here, but there are standard/規 scales/規模 for models/模, most of which are made in molds/模, and those scale models are precisely measured/規 replicas of the originals.


This is really good! I’ve added it to my Vocabulary notes. Thanks :grin:

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Ah. My bad. :joy::joy::joy:

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Im pretty sure @plantron has some good ideas about this!

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退屈 たいくつ Boring

退 たい retreat
屈 くつ yield


Obviously not up to your level yet, but I’ll try!

On the battlefield, when one side retreats (退) before there’s even any combat, it yields (屈) a very boring result for the enemy. Yeah, the enemy won. But so what? It’s too boring without any combat…


Heh, I just came across 退屈 in Harry Potter, but mostly only remembered the meaning because it was being used to describe History of Magic. :stuck_out_tongue:


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