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Goin’ Japanesque!

10 Trending Words of 2016 to Get Close with the Japanese

In Japan where 80% of the population is connected to the internet or use smart phones, there are new words of the youth developed daily through heavy use of SNS by people such as JD (Joshi-daisei, female college students), JK (Joshi-kosei, female high school students) and JC (Joshi-chugakusei). These newly developed words are heavily used among the young generation aged in their 20s and 30s and is spreading.

Among such lingo of youngsters, we have selected 10 readily usable expressions. It may help you understand conversation that you weren’t able to until now, or may get you all the attention if you use it on an SNS or at an interactive party. Photo:


Very Japanese! 3 Cute Expressions

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1. …tan


Yabatan (yabai/risky +tan), tsuratan (tsurai/suffering+tan), kowatan (kowai/scary + tan)…etc. Using an adjective and adding “tan” after it makes the expression less intense and makes it a cute word. Use it when you want to show off your cuteness. 

2. Tehepero


“Tehe” is a word that is used as you show a shy/embarrassed giggle when you made a mistake. “Pero” refers to the sticking out of the tongue like Peko-chan the mascot from Fujiya. The Tehepero is used when you want to cutely get away with a mistake you accidentally made. If you have made a serious mistake, a tehepero may not cut it so you may want to be careful of when and where you use it!

3. Kamacho


This is an abbreviation for “kamatte chodai” (hey, look at me/take care of me). If you say “Dareka kamacho”(hey someone, look at me), on SNS, you may get lots of invitations from your friends?!


3 Expressions Originating from English Words

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4. Disu-ru


This is a verb that originated from the English word, “disrespect”. It means to criticize or to speak negatively of. It seems that the term was originally used by hip hop artists and rappers when they were criticizing music by other musicians or artists. It has been used in Japan as early as around the year 2,000 and it is still widely used. i.e. “disutteruno?” – “are you trying to pick a fight?”

5. Paripi


This is an abbreviation for party people. It refers to people who like to have fun at flashy events such as at parties and clubs. You can also use it as a verb such as “konshu-matsu paripi shiyou (Let’s paripi this weekend)”. As the season for outdoor music festivals and barbeques are coming up, you can introduce yourself as a “paripi” and attract a whole new group of friends!

6. Naushika


This means “Now shika nai” – Now is the only chance you got!. As you may see, it is a play on words with Nausica of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika), but has no direct relation to the anime movie. If you have a friend that’s hesitant to express his/her feelings toward a secret lover, give them a supporting message saying “Naushika! Naushika!”.


4 Abbreviations

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7. A-ne/ Sorena


These are both used in response with the speaker. “A-ne” is short for “A-, soudane (yeah, I suppose you’re right)” and so it is used as a response when your interest level is not so high. “Sorena” on the other hand is a word that expresses agreement like “soudayona (you’re right, I agree)”. You can remember these two as a set!

8. Mendi


This is an abbreviation for the word “mendokusai (such a drag)”. It is used for example in a sentence like “Kyo shigoto ikuno maji mendi (What a serious drag to go to work today)”. But you can use it in various other ways such as “gomendi (gomen-ne/I’m sorry)”, “damendi (dame-dayo/that’s not gonna work)”, “umendi (umai, oishi/tasty, delicious)”. It seems that this is a word that caught on from the popular dancer Mandy Sekiguchi of EXILE GENERATIONS using it.

9. Oko


It is a term that is abbreviated from “okoru (to get mad)” or “okotteru (is mad)”. If you can ask “Ima oko desuka (Are you mad right now)?” in a cute way, you may get over your fight very quickly…

10. Ryo


This is the abbreviated form of “ryokai (understood)”. It is often used on smart phones. Similar to “おけ(oke)” or “おk(o-k)” which is an abbreviated version of okay, it is a term that started being used recently.



So how did you like it? We hope knowing these fun words that youngsters use – of course being cognizant of the right time and situation to use them – will help you with your conversation with the Japanese. We always welcome you to use them on the Goin’ Japanesque! Official Twitter or Facebook account! (We aren’t always able to respond right away, but we make sure we check each and every one of your messages.)

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About the author

A girl in her 30s who is interested in global communication and Minions♪

View all articles by Marisha