​​​​​​​#12:  KO-HI-

[ coffee \ コーヒー (Katakana) ]

SubtitleMany common Japanese kanji characters originated

as pictograms. The new character for KO-HI- suggested here follows in that tradition, showing the recognizable base, filter mechanism, pot and contents of any standard coffee maker.

japanglish101 humor appears throughout japanglish.org

© 2014 Lennie Mace/THE LAB  posted March 5, 2014

Japanglish・noun・linguistic neologism   \ jə-ˌ'pan-glish,  jə-ˌ'paŋ-lish, ジャパングリッシュ \  

A modern derivation of Japanese language exhibiting English influence. Its origins trace to the beginnings of Japanese contact with Western civilization which led to the country's 1854 "opening" from isolation. Forms of Japanglish gained prevalence during the post-WWll occupation of American troops in Japan (1945~) and grew proportionately in subsequent generations. Japanese who were adults by wartime are less acquainted with the phenomenon, and Japanglish is still less likely to be heard among the elderly or in rural, isolated communities. Interestingly, usage of Japanglish has become so prevalent that younger generations are often unaware some of the "Japanese" words they're speaking are of English or foreign origin. 

The word Japanglish is a portmanteau of the words Japanese and English. It is a direct etymological descendent of Spanglish, the neologism denoting a fusion of Spanish and English languages. Aspects of all other contemporary intermingling of Japanese and English languages comprise Japanglish. The pseudo-anglicisms of Wasei-eigo ("salaryman"), abbreviations of Gairaigo ("rimo-kon"), conversational alternations of Code-switching ("We are genki !"), and failed translations of Engrish ("Let's English!") all fall under the umbrella of what constitutes "Japanglish". 

Although Japanglish has origins as lingua franca or pidgin, whereby people lacking proficiency in two languages can communicate using simplified forms of either language, Japanglish is distinguished by its common usage among Japanese people themselves; English words spoken with a Japanese accent or spelled out phonetically using Japanese Katakana, also referred to as loan wordsLoan words from languages such as Portuguese (PAN \ bread), Dutch (GOMU \ rubber band), French (PIERO \ clown) and German (ARUBAITO \ part-time job) have also found their way into the modern Japanese vocabulary. Within certain circles, such as Japan's entertainment and advertising industries, Japanglish is routinely exploited.   

APĀTO \ APARTment; flat (UK) \ アパート 

Usually older, lower imprint structures;  newer high-rise residences are differentiated as MANSHON \ マンション \  (Literally "mansion", though not in the western sense of a rich family home).   

BŌRUPEN \ ballpoint pen \ ボールペン   

Literally, "ball pen" (UK) combining BALL (bōru \ ボール) and 

PEN (ペン).  

BAIKU \ bike = motorcycle \ バイク   

Not "bike" as westerners would use to describe a bicycle; Japanese use their native JITENSHA \ 自転車 to describe a bicycle, or the informal CHARI \ チャリ which has unconfirmed etymology.     

DENSHIRENJI \ electric range \ 電子レンジ   

Microwave oven. Combines the Japanese DENSHI (電子 = electronic) with the Japanglish RENJI (range). 

DEPĀTO \ DEPARTment store \ デパート   

Clear, simple abbreviation of the English word.

 DOKUTĀSUTOPPU \ doctor stop \ ドクターストップ    
"Doctor's orders"; a recommendation to stop doing something for medical/health reasons. Nuanced compound of the English words, transliterated.  

EAKON \ AIR CONditioner \ エアコン   

Clear, simple abbreviation of the English word.  Pronunciation of the Romaji "EA" follows Latin pronunciations:  Ĕ Ä (eh-ah).  

GARASU \ glass \ ガラス   

The material, as used for windows etc.    

DAILY LIFE  dictionary listings continues below...


SUTOIKKU(ˈsu-tō-ik'ku) \ STOIC(ˈstō-ik) \ ストイック

Urbane Japanese use English words such as stoic in a very socially self-conscious manner, a linguistic affectation conveying an appearance of being well-read or well-traveled; fancy vocabulary as a badge of intelligence or sophistication comparable to the English use of  c'est la vie, for example (although most invoke that French phrase with dismissive irony).  

   Japanese casually using sutoikku seem oblivious to the fact that such words are bookish English not commonly used conversationally, for which native English speakers would instead be more likely to use any number of less erudite language;  composed and indifferent, perhaps, or colloquialisms such as "keeping one's cool" or "poker-faced".  Fashionable expressions such as unflappable or aloof are also more likely to be employed by English speakers, but... how often do you hear stoic used in conversation? 

   Bookish or not, the use of stoic in English conversation is less anomalous merely by association — it is English — but as sutoikku it becomes a glaring curiosity when esoterically tucked into Japanese conversation.  Is there no Japanese synonym?  Interestingly, there is not. The new word is a mere product of transliteration corresponding to a variant of its English definition and its appearance as Japanglish, therefore, seems to at least serve a linguistic need, however nuanced its usage in the Japanese lexicon.

By O. Lebron  posted August 29, 2014


Heard around the house, commonly used and understood.

GURASU \ glass \ グラス   

The drinking utensil.  

*Note the difference in the Japanese Katakana (カタカナ)

spelling and pronunciation of the same word.

GASORINSUTANDO \ gasoline stand \ ガソリンスタンド

Gas station.  

HANKACHI \ handkerchief \ ハンカチ 

Simplified form of the English word.

HŌMU \ platFORM \ フォーム    
Nuanced abbreviation of the English word, transliterated; railway platform; the place to wait for arriving trains.    

HOWAITO \ white \ ホワイト 

Nuanced transliteration corresponding to the color white, as in Washington DC's HOWAITO HAUSU (ホワイトハウス).  

IYAHON; IYAHŌN \ earphone \ イヤホンイアーホーン  

Transliteration of the English word with a Japanese accent. 

KOINRANDORĪ \ coin laundry \ コインランドリー

Laundromat (US); launderette (UK). 

KONBINI \ convenience (store) \ コンビニ

Nuanced abbreviation of the English word. 

KONSENTO \ concentric (plug) \ コンセント

Electrical outlet (from UK English). 

MANSHON \ mansion \ マンション

Apartment building. Nuanced usage of the English word. 

MĒRU \ mail \ メール  

E-mail; nuanced use of English word. 

MISHIN \ (sewing) machine \ ミシン

Nuanced abbreviation of the English word. 

POSUTO \ post \ ポスト 

Mailbox; POST-box (UK). Nuanced abbreviation of English word. 

REJI \ register \ レジ   

Cash register.  Simplified form of the English word REGIster. 

RIMOKON \ remote control \ リモコン

Common Japanese contraction of English compound word REMOte CONtrol.

RINYŪARU \ renewal \ リニューアル

Remodeling; renovation. Nuanced usage of the English word.

SŪPĀ \ super \ スーパー 

Nuanced abbreviation of the English word SUPERmarket.

SUTŌBU \ stove \ ストーブ
Nuanced usage of the English word. A "space heater". Never used to describe an "oven" as in western countries, for which the Japanglish ŌBUN \ オーブン is used. 

TEREBI \ television \ テレビ

Abbreviated form of the English word TELEVIsion.

YUNITTOBASU \ unit bath \ ユニットバス
A prefabricated bathroom common to Japanese apartments; usually a full bathroom of 2-or-3 molded-plastic pieces fitted together modularly to form the full "unit". 

DAILY LIFEdictionary listings undergoing expansion  

© 2014 japanglish.org

japanglish.org world wide web-ster abridged japanglish dictionary

・JST, Tokyo (UTC+09:00)



Roman alphabet abbreviations utilized as words, pronounced using a Japanese accent.  In common usage and recognized as part of Japanese vocabulary. 

ĒBWI; ĒVUI \ AV \ エーヴイ

Adult Videos; Pornographic films(also pinku eiga \ ピンク映画; pink films).

ENJĪ \ NG \ エンジー  

No Good; No-Go. Something unacceptable; a "blooper" TV shot.     

BĪJĪEMU \ BGM \ ビージーエム

BackGround Music. 

BWĪTIĀRU \ VTR \ ヴィーティアール

Video Tape Replay; instant replay.

DĪBWĪ \ DV \ ディーヴィー

Domestic Violence.

DĪBWĪDĪ \ DVD \ ディーヴィーディー

Digital Video Disc.

EICHIPĪ \ HP \ エイチピー

Home Page; internet website.

JĒKĒ \ JK \ Joshi Kosei; 女子高生

High school girl. Japanese compound word abbreviated using Roman alphabet: Joshi (girl) + Kosei (high school student).

JĒĀRU \ JR \ ジェーアール

Japan Railway; Japan's national rail network.

ŌERU \ OL \ オーエル

Office Lady; Subordinate role, female counterpart to "salaryman" (see "business" entry).

PETTO (botoru) \ PET (bottle) \ PET ボトル

PolyEthylene Terephthalate recyclable plastic container (sometimes ペットボトル); acronym annunciated as English the word "pet" with a Japanese accent — double consonant hard pause (TT) and requisite voweled suffix (O) — joined by the Japanglicised "bottle".

PĪSHĪ \ PC \ ピーシー

Personal Computer; traditional hard-drive based home computer. 

SHĪEMU \ CM \ シーエム

Commercial Message; television commercial.

japanglishACRONYMS undergoing expansion  ©japanglish.org

Straightforward Transliterationsused in Daily Life

These English words are commonly used and understood by Japanese people, albeit as pronounced with a Japanese accent when spoken and spelled out phonetically using Japanese Katakana when written (Katakana spelling is provided). Their definitions correspond to that of the English word. *A separate list of words with nuanced usages and/or abbreviated words are listed below with explanations.

ARUFABETTO \ alphabet \ アルファベット   

BASU \ bus \ バス  

BĪRU \ beer \ ビール  

EREBĒTĀ \ elevator \ エレベーター  

ESUKARĒTĀ \ escalator \ エスカレーター  

INFURUENZA \ influenza \ インフルエンザ
IYAHON; IYAHŌN \ earphone \ イヤホン; イアーホーン  

KAMERA \ camera \ カメラ

KŌHĪ \ coffee \ コーヒー   

MIRUKU \ milk \ ミルク    
NYŪSU \ news \ ニュース

SARON \ salon \ サロン   

TAKUSHĪ \ taxi \ タクシー 

TOIRE; TOIRETTO \ toilet \ トイレ; トイレット  

WAKUCHIN \ vaccine \ ワクチン 

JapanglishIN NEON:  カメラ = KA (カ) ME (メ)RA (ラ) = CAMERA

​​​Pronunciation Guide

Entries listed as follows: Japanese Romaji CAPITALISED \ English word bolded \ Japanese Katakana カタカナ 

Followed by the definition and/or notes. *Transliterations correspond to Japanese phonetics ; the Japanese accent.

As this is a source for people searching for JAPANGLISH translations, entries are listed in alphabetic order according to their Japanese Romaji (Romanized) spelling. Therefore the Japanglish for ICE CREAM, for example, would be not be found under "I" but instead under A, as the Romaji transliteration places it as AISU KURĪMU. 

Romaji vowels shown with a macron (-) above them ( Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū ) indicate an extension of the vowel sound.

Japanese vowel sounds/pronunciation: 

a  always ä (ah) as in HOT; never as ă in HAT or ā in HATE.

e  always ĕ as in TEN; never as ē (or double ee) in TEEN.  

i  always ē (or double ee) as in TEEN; never as the ĭ in SIN or īin TIME.   

o  always ō (oh) as in NO; never as the ŏ in NOT.

u  always ū (or double oo) as in SOON; never as ŭ in SUN.

Japanese consonants are always followed by a partner vowel sound. With the exception of words ending in N, words which in English would end in a consonant have an additional vowel sound attached. R, for example, is always RA, RI, RU, RE or RO. The R ending of "beer", therefore, becomes RU, resulting in the Japanglish word bee-RU. ​

   Certain English sounds do not exist in the Japanese language. Replacement pronunciations for those sounds result in unusual transliterations. The L - R switch noted above is perhaps the most well known example. Another is the S sound when preceding a double EE sound (the Japanese "i" vowel sound). The replacement pronunciation turns "seat" into the Japanglish SHEET  (SHĪTO \ シート) or "seal" into the Japanglish SHEEL (SHĪRU \ シール) *note the partner vowel sound attached to the end, changing the words to shīTO and shīRU, as discussed above). 

C is nonexistent on its own. S covers the C sound of CENT.

K covers the C sound of CAN. C only appears with H to form the Japanese CHI sound (Katakana チ \ Hiragana ち) as in CHEEse or the variants CHE (CHEck) and CHO (CHOcolate).

G is always the hard G sound of GUN.

J covers the soft G sound of GIN (i.e. JIN).

F is pronounced with less teeth-to-lip contact; often sounding closer to an H sound.

L is nonexistent. R replaces the English L sound, but takes on the soft D sound of Latin phonetics. 

The North American hard R sound is nonexistent in Japanese. In words like CARD the hard R is dropped and replaced by a corresponding vowel sound akin to British phonetics, becoming the Japanglish KAHd (KĀDO \ カード; *note the vowel sound  (O) attached to the end consonant (DO) as previously noted), BIRD becomes BAHd (BĀDO \ バード), WORD becomes WAHd (WĀDO \ ワード; *note the pronunciation adhering to phonetics instead of spelling: both "ir" and "or" become AH), and "form" becomes FOHm (FŌMU \ フォーム; *note the inconsistency of replacement sounds: in this case "or" becomes OH).

   Although there is no Japanese equivalent to the English L, Japanese people often inexplicably pronounce R with a nuanced L sound; Tokyo's Roppongi neighborhood, for example, often becomes Loppongi

V always becomes B as in BEE, BWEE or BUI, listed under B.

Usage of double consonants — SSNNTT, etc — denotes a break on that consonant ("batter" becomes "bat'ter").

TCH  denotes a break between the T and CH ("pitcher" becomes "pit'cher"). Sometimes transcribed in Romaji as CCH.

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