Category Archives: WOTD – Japanese

All of the writers on are fluent in Japanese, reading and writing included. Sometimes we come across great phrases that make us think, “now why haven’t I ever heard/read/used that before”. When we find a ripper of a Japanese word that we come across in everyday life in Japan (one that is generally colloquial, or not usually in standard dictionaries), we will introduce it to you in our “Japanese: Word of the day” section.

J-WOTD: 形ばかり

かたちばかり (katachibakari)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“token” “fake” (used for when someone does something, without really meaning it, or for ulterior motives)
slight token of gratitude, very small token of gratitude
reception given for form’s sake
put up only a token resistance
例(cchi):昨晩遅かった事をカタチばかり文句言ってみたら 今日は早く帰るって言って朝出ていった。

J-WOTD: 虫がいい

虫がいい (mushi ga ii)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“push one’s luck” “take a lot for granted” “take too much for granted”
sounds too good
That’s asking too much
It would be pushing my luck to ask that we only meet when it suits me right?

J-WOTD: 侮れない

あなどれない (anadorenai)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“look tough” “(be) a force to be reckoned with”
rival to be reckoned with
something to be reckoned with

Usage: An friend of mine in an old company, said this about a manager that was trying to make us work hard on the very last day of our assignment on a certain project.. I guess it meant, “She (the boss) is just trying to look tough..

J-WOTD: おちょくる

おちょくる (ochokuru)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“make fun of” “wind up” “take the piss out of” etc..
make fun of.., make a mock of..
see the funny side of
“Are you taking the piss out of Japanese people!?”

J-WOTD: 杞憂

きゆう (kiyuu)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“alarmism” “groundless apprehensions” “groundless fear” “needless fear”
You’re worrying over nothing.
“How was the checkup?” “My fears turned out to be groundless.”
That concern proved unfounded.
I was worried about nothing..

J-WOTD: 憤慨

ふんがい (fungai)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“embitterment”, “fury”, “resent”
Be outraged, be annoyed with, burn with resentment, get indignant
Be upset at (someone’s) mistake
The staff were up in arms about the new pay structure.

J-WOTD: 案の定

あんのじょう (annojyou)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“As anticipated”, “as expected”, “sure enough”, “to noone’s surprise” etc etc..
foregone conclusion
Example sentence: ご婦人がHDDを買いに来た。店を出る直前、手が滑って「スコーン!」とHDDが床へ落下。しかしHDDの弱さを知らないご婦人は、何事もなかったように拾って帰路へ。案の定、数日後に「動かない」と来店。

J-WOTD: 正真正銘

しょうしんしょうめい (shoushinshoumei)

* “J-WOTD” = “Japanese Word of the Day”

“Authentic” “fair dinkum” “real”
Used to stress that something is not a fake, as in, “This is the real McCoy”.

More examples:
a genuine Picasso painting
real professional
genuine refugee