J-WOTD: 倦怠期

けんたいき (kentaiki)

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

I often hear colleagues at work and other Japanese friends talking about their relationships at home – married or otherwise. Some of the key words used these days seem to be セックスレス(sexless)、喧嘩多発(constant quarreling) and 離婚寸前 (thinking of divorce)…

I’m not going to go to deep into all of those now. However, this recent change in wording used by those around me, juxtaposed against the buzzwords of my university days (ラブラブ、あつあつ 、イチャイチャ etc) is a big contrast, and I suppose shows the age of the people around me, and maybe my age too (not “old”, but half way there I guess..).

Anyway, one new keyword that is popping up here and there amongst these new set of melancholic relationship terms is:

「倦怠期」けんたいき (kentaiki)

A “kentaiki” is a period where 2 people (I am guessing of opposite sexes) get bored with each other, and begin to drift away from each other a little. The Japanese definition is something like: 「互いに飽きていやになる時期」。 Since I have heard this word used three times in the last three weeks, all from separate people, it just had to become a J-word-of-the-day on stippy. Put it to use if you are in the right age group. I am sure you will get instant empathy!

As a sidenote, I found kentaiki in the H辞典 (Sex Dictionary) on the web. For those who don’t know about it, it can be a very useful resource sometimes, despite their naughty logo. This is that logo, click it to check the entry for 「倦怠期」(Japanese language page):
H辞典 logo

It is just great how the Japanese language can shove such a deep and powerful human emotional state of mind, of not one, but two people into 3 Chinese characters. Any others while we are at it? Leave them in the comments if you have one!

4 thoughts on “J-WOTD: 倦怠期”

  1. I swear, when I first arrived in Japan, I thought that my friends were talking about KFC. The whole reference to “going in Kentucky with my wife” just seemed to fit the context, too… for a few seconds anyway. What a shock to discover that there was actually Kanji for this word!!

  2. The popular use of “kentaiki” is not new by any means. I think it was also commonly used in the late 80s to early 90s. In fact when I arrived in Japan, there was a song in the charts called “ケンタイキです” by a comedian calling himself MC Kommier. (Obviously a take on MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”). That’s the first time I learnt the meaning of this word.

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