The Best Japanese Words Ever - Part 3

One of the things that I love most about Japanese is that just by looking at the Chinese-based kanji characters, you very often not only instantly know the meaning of a word, but you also get a good sense of the etymology. Below are seven more of my favorite words that spell it all out for you.

1)      猿知恵 (saru-jie) = monkey wisdom = something that sounds clever but in actuality is foolish

2)      妬む (netamu) = woman + rock = envy

3)      落花生 (rakkasei) = fall flower life = peanuts – I had no idea how peanuts were grown, but as the characters illustrate, the peanut plant’s blossoms fall to the ground and penetrate the soil where a pod is formed containing two seeds (i.e. nuts).

4)      思わせぶりな女 (omowaseburina-onna) = girl pretending suggestion = cocktease

5)      蛙の面に小便 (kaeru no tsura ni shoben) = pee on a frog’s face – no matter what cruel things are said or done to you, being absolutely fine.

6)      女癖 (onnaguse) = woman habit = philandering

7)      辻斬り (tsujigiri) = crossroads cut = killing a passerby to test a new sword – If you move to Tokyo, you'll be surprised at just how often you find yourself having to use this convenient word.

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