36 Cool and Obscure Words (WOTD Roundup)

Hello, all. If you follow me on twitter, you know that for the last month or so, (almost) every day, I’ve been posting a #Japanese #WOTD.

Since information on twitter is quickly buried, I’ll leave a record here for the sake of data permanence (and also for the sake of anyone who doesn’t use twitter).

In no particular order…

  • 逆ギレ – (gyakugire) – getting angry in response to someone else’s anger
  • 方向音痴 – (houkou onchi) – “directionally tonedeaf” = having a terrible sense of direction
  • 死亡フラグ – (shibou furagu) – “death flag” a statement/action that hints at or frequently precedes a character’s death (in fiction)
  • 鵜呑み (にする) – (unomi ni suru) – to accept someone’s idea/opinion without thinking. Literally: to swallow (whole) like a cormorant.
  • ダメ元(で) – (damemoto de) – attempting something even though one expects it to be unsuccessful.
  • 悪乗り – (warunori) – getting carried away and saying/doing more than one should (also written: 悪ノリ)
  • 文字化け (mojibake) – when digital text is turned into incomprehensible gibberish due to an error (eg. 縺ォ繧医▲縺ヲ縲∬。ィ遉コ蜿)
  • (otsu) – “thanks” (internet slang, derived from お疲れ様/otsukaresama)
  • 鉢合わせ (hachiawase) – an unexpected meeting/encounter, running/bumping into someone
  • 思い出し笑い (omoidashi warai) – Laughing when recalling something funny.
  • ググる (guguru) – to search on Google (RU-Verb)
  • 絶対領域 (zettai ryouiki) – the area of a woman’s thigh which is exposed between her over-knee socks and short pants/skirt
  • 金輪際 (konrinzai) – definitely (not) / never / under no circumstances (adverb, used to make a strong refusal or denial)
  • 腹癒せ (haraise) – something done in order to vent one’s anger or get revenge (eg. punching a wall after an argument)
  • 腹ごなし (haragonashi) – light excercise such as taking a walk, done after a meal in order to help digest food
  • 腹ごしらえ (haragoshirae) – having a meal in advance of some activity (ie. before going somewhere, working, shopping, etc.)
  • 似た者同士 (nita mono doushi) – two people with similar personalities/traits, “birds of a feather”
  • 八重歯 (yaeba) – maligned teeth, especially when the top canines appear to be pushed/crowded outward
  • 験担ぎ (genkatsugi) – a personal superstition or good-luck ritual (eg. a sports player eating a certain food before a game)
  • 念力 (nenriki) – telekenesis. Also: 念動力 (nendouryoku)
  • 十八番 (ohako) – one’s regularly-used trick/technique, their “specialty”, (someone up to their) old tricks
  • 打開策 (dakaisaku) – a plan for overcoming a difficult situation
  • 天才肌 (tensaihada) – not necessarily a genius, but showing genius-like eccentricity (lit. “genius skin”)
  • 手持ち無沙汰 (temochibusata) – fidgety/antsy because one has nothing to do
  • 踏ん反り返る (funzorikaeru) – to lean back comfortably with one’s legs sticking out in front
  • 当たり屋 (atariya) – a person who intentionally gets hit by a car, scheming to get money from the driver. Also: a big hitter (baseball), or someone who often wins at lotteries, raffles and so on.
  • ガリ勉 (gariben) – a person so focused on studying as to preclude social activities. Typically this word criticizes someone for having no social life.
  • 野次馬 (yajiuma) – onlookers (unrelated people watching the scene of an accident/crime/fire)
  • 送り狼 (okuriookami) – a man who accompanies a woman to their home, seeking an opportunity to assault them.
  • 芋蔓式 (imozurushiki) – related things/people becoming apparent in succession, “like a vine of sweet potatoes”
  • 狸寝入り – (tanukineiri) – pretending to be asleep
  • デコピン – (dekopin) – flicking one’s finger on someone’s forehead (a “playful” form of punishment)
  • 土下座 – (dogeza) – bowing/begging on your hands and knees and with your forehead to the ground
  • とんぼ返り – (tonbogaeri) – “a dragonfly spin”, going somewhere for a short time, then coming back promptly and directly
  • チャラ – (chara) – when two opposing things cancel each other out, such as person A paying for gas, person B paying a similar amount for dinner.
  • ドン引き – (donbiki) having the atmosphere/mood ruined by someone’s unreasonable or out-of-place comment or action

I’m still preparing the next round of #WOTD words, which won’t be as obscure as these. I’ll be focusing on more useful words, which are often under-used by learners. So make sure you follow me on twitter if you haven’t already! :-)

Posted under Language & Study by Nihonshock.

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