The Nanbanjin Nikki

ザ南蛮人日記

A couple items of 2ch slang

I was watching Hokuto no Ken and suddenly Sunday’s already over. Why are vacations always like this?

I said I’d write something once a week, not matter how trivial, so here are two 2ch vocabulary items I enjoy in a “painful groan” kind of way:

ki gasu 希ガス: “Noble gas”. Took a moment the first time I met it. Wordplay for 気がする ki ga suru “to feel that, to have a hunch that”. Notice the final -u can be devoiced, so it’s more or less natural to abbreviate away the last syllable.

wara(藁): “Straw”. It stands for “smile”. The rationale for this is:

There are plenty more; the Japanese Internet is self-documenting, just search for glossaries and Yahoo questions.

Bonus: Here’s that kanji again:

The original character for “straw” was 稿、 combining “grain” 禾 with “tall” 高—the second as a phonetic hint that still works in SJ (). In time, the character came to be used ever more commonly for “sketch, draft” (a common connotation of “straw” or “grass” in Chinese culture), so 藁 was devised by adding an extra, redundant semantic hint for “grass” 艸 at the top (there’s also a variant without “grass” but keeping the “grain” intact, 稾). This process of “kanji rehabilition” was fairly common; what was unusual here is the rearranging of the three elements in a vertical pileup, resulting in a character dense enough to be hard to parse at usual computer resolutions.

Comments

It’s awesomely difficult to find something to write every week! I don’t know how LH manages to come up with something almost every other day. Anyway, keep it up!