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The "What's this word/phrase?" thread

#1
I just have a really simple question about a word I can't find in the dictionary. Since it feels like a bit of a waste to make a new thread just for this, maybe it would be a good idea for this to be an ongoing thread where anyone can get help for the words and phrases that they are having a problem with.

So I'll start it off.
From the manga よつばと, a character used the word 「うす」. I can tell from the context that its a greeting, and probably pretty casual. Where does this word come from? Is it some sort of recent slang, or some particular dialect? Maybe a contraction of something?
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#2
おす is a sort of cool, male greeting. うす sounds like a close relative. It's like when you acknowledge someone with a friendly grunt.
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#3
I'm a Noob...got this from a book (slang book), so I may be off and someone can correct this if it's wrong.

Like Future Blues says, maybe a version of[kana] おっす[/kana]

[kana]おっす[/kana] was originally a very formal word like a soldier saying "yes sir!". I notice the Yakuza foot soldiers using it fiercely(and bowing) when the Big Bosses show up in the movie "Brother". In a slang context it is kind of goofing on the original use. The book translated it as "what's up"....
Some variations-(think of a Japanese version of the old Budwieser commercials, with two friends going back and forth)

[kana]おっす[/kana] -Whattup!

[kana]うっす[/kana] -'Sup

[kana]ういっすー[/kana] -Whazzap!

[kana]ういっすっす[/kana] -Whazzzaaaaap!!!

Obviously the translations aren't literal or anything....but you get the idea.

The book is "Dirty Japanese" by Matt Fargo. Really funny little book!
Edited: 2009-06-09, 1:51 am
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JapanesePod101
#4
Haha, now that I have pictured a Japanese budweiser commercial I will never forget this :p
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#5
おっす was discussed in a topic here very recently. I think it was claimed that it's originally from 空手.
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#6
Next word: しばらく
wwwjdic gives it a variety of definitions referring to a range of time. However, these definitions range from "instant" to " a short while" to "quite a while".

WTF is that supposed to mean? I know some words can sort of change meaning depending on the context, but there is no way to tell with something like that!
Anyone got a better definition for this?
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#7
Zarxrax Wrote:Next word: しばらく
wwwjdic gives it a variety of definitions referring to a range of time. However, these definitions range from "instant" to " a short while" to "quite a while".

WTF is that supposed to mean? I know some words can sort of change meaning depending on the context, but there is no way to tell with something like that!
Anyone got a better definition for this?
It means like "for a while", here's an example:
しばらくお待ちください. Wait a while, please.
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#8
@Zarxrax, pro-tip: don't use wwwjdic

TaylorSan Wrote:おっす was originally a very formal word like a soldier saying "yes sir!". I notice the Yakuza foot soldiers using it fiercely(and bowing) when the Big Bosses show up in the movie
Nein.
Also, despite someone's claims to the opposite, it IS just short for "ohayou gozaimasu". Kanji were assigned later on in a form of wordplay, giving it an extra meaning not unlike "頑張ろう". Usu, uissu, uiisu, chuusu, etc are all just modified forms of the shortening.

It is pretty manly, both because it originally became popular at a Kyoto martial arts school pre-ww2, and because girls shouldn't be slurring and mumbling their speech anyways.

オッスは、戦前、京都にあった武道専門学校の生徒の間から生まれた言葉で、「おはようございます」の略。
「おはようございます」が「おはよーっす」となり、「おわーす」「おす」と変化していった。
その「おす」に、武道の精神である「自我を抑え我慢する」という意味の「押して忍ぶ」が当てられ、漢字では「押忍」と表記されるようになった。
挨拶として用いられる「オッス」は「おはようございます」が略されたものだが、応援団などが掛け声風に用いる「オッス」は、当てられた漢字「押忍」の意味からと考えられている。
なお、いかりや長介が『8時だョ!全員集合』で客席に向かって言う「オイッスー」は、「オッス」が更に変化した言葉である。
Edited: 2009-06-10, 12:50 am
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#9
nice thing such a thread exists : )

I just stumbled across this one:
半径が3.1だから・・・
Does maybe anyone know how to pronounce 3.1 in Japanese?
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#10
さんてんいち the . in decimels is read as てん (点)
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#11
saru_yo Wrote:nice thing such a thread exists : )

I just stumbled across this one:
半径が3.1だから・・・
Does maybe anyone know how to pronounce 3.1 in Japanese?
Need context, but most likely はんけいが さんてんいち だから. Here's an example.

円周率は3.14159265358979です = えんしゅーりつは さんてんいちよんいちごーきゅーにーろくごーさんごーはちきゅーななきゅー です。
Edited: 2009-06-12, 4:33 am
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#12
Thank you very much, Smackle and magamo! : D
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#13
Can someone explain to me the difference between ちちおや , ちち and とうさん ? とうさん is for other people's, ちち for the own father if I remember correctly, but ちちおや ?
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#14
lanval Wrote:Can someone explain to me the difference between ちちおや , ちち and とうさん ? とうさん is for other people's, ちち for the own father if I remember correctly, but ちちおや ?
ちちおや and ちち are often interchangeable. とうさん is a friendly word for "father" and slightly more informal than おとうさん. All these words can refer to either your own or another person's father. ちち and ちちおや are more formal than おとうさん and とうさん.

Sometimes ちち means the Father, i.e., God. Also, noun+の+ちち can have different meanings just like "father" in English. For example, バッハは音楽の父だと呼ばれている means "Bach is called the father of music." ちちおや and other synonyms don't have this kind of usage.
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#15
magamo Wrote:
lanval Wrote:Can someone explain to me the difference between ちちおや , ちち and とうさん ? とうさん is for other people's, ちち for the own father if I remember correctly, but ちちおや ?
ちちおや and ちち are often interchangeable. とうさん is a friendly word for "father" and slightly more informal than おとうさん. All these words can refer to either your own or another person's father. ちち and ちちおや are more formal than おとうさん and とうさん.

Sometimes ちち means the Father, i.e., God. Also, noun+の+ちち can have different meanings just like "father" in English. For example, バッハは音楽の父だと呼ばれている means "Bach is called the father of music." ちちおや and other synonyms don't have this kind of usage.
thanks for all the info =)
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#16
magamo Wrote:
lanval Wrote:Can someone explain to me the difference between ちちおや , ちち and とうさん ? とうさん is for other people's, ちち for the own father if I remember correctly, but ちちおや ?
ちちおや and ちち are often interchangeable. とうさん is a friendly word for "father" and slightly more informal than おとうさん. All these words can refer to either your own or another person's father. ちち and ちちおや are more formal than おとうさん and とうさん.

Sometimes ちち means the Father, i.e., God. Also, noun+の+ちち can have different meanings just like "father" in English. For example, バッハは音楽の父だと呼ばれている means "Bach is called the father of music." ちちおや and other synonyms don't have this kind of usage.
What? This is the first time ever I've heard ちち called more formal than とうさん. After all, chichi is just the kanji, 父. とうさん is the same, but with a honorary suffix. おとうさん adds the honorary prefix. I can't imagine how 父 could possibly be more formal than 御父さん.

(Of course, you're the native speaker so I'm not calling you wrong or anything. I'm just extremely surprised.)

Also, let's not forget おやじ which is a very informal word used for your own father, often used by teens, the female version (of mother that is) being おふくろ.
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#17
Tobberoth Wrote:What? This is the first time ever I've heard ちち called more formal than とうさん. After all, chichi is just the kanji, 父. とうさん is the same, but with a honorary suffix. おとうさん adds the honorary prefix. I can't imagine how 父 could possibly be more formal than 御父さん.

(Of course, you're the native speaker so I'm not calling you wrong or anything. I'm just extremely surprised.)

Also, let's not forget おやじ which is a very informal word used for your own father, often used by teens, the female version (of mother that is) being おふくろ.
Native speakers can be wrong. My understanding is that 父 is not a very formal word, but お父さん and 父さん sound more friendly so they are often used in more informal situations. For example, my boss can ask me "君のお父さんは何をしているのかね?" but I'd reply "私の父は公務員です。" My boss can use 君の父親, 君の父 or 君のお父さん. But I don't use お父さん or 父さん when talking with my boss. Also, kids use お父さん more often than adults. Actually no one would use 父 when they find a little kid walking alone and ask "Where is your dad?" Most likely they say "お父さんはどこにいるの?", "パパはどこにいるのかな?" etc.

Here's the definition of お父さん in 大辞泉 published by 小学館:

1: 子供が自分の父親を呼ぶ語。また、子供をもつ男性を親しんで呼ぶ語。「おかあさん」とともに明治37年から使用した文部省「尋常小学読本」(国定教科書)に採用されてから、「おとっさん」に代わって普及した。
2: 芸妓・女郎が、置屋や茶屋の男主人を敬って呼ぶ語。

Meaning 2 isn't important to learners unless you're interested in those cultures, I guess.

Edit: Technically お父さん can be considered 尊敬語. But the sense of respect is weaker than other honorifics such as 尊父, お父様, 厳父 etc. I also found a blog where a curmudgeon is complaining that these days people don't use お父さん as a honorific.
Edited: 2009-06-12, 10:00 am
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#18
I was wondering if anyone can give me more insight into the difference between さびしい and さみしい cos I find I hear さみしい a lot more but I am not sure if there is an actual difference.
Edited: 2009-06-12, 9:26 am
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#19
さみし・い【▽寂しい/×淋しい】[形][文]さみ・し[シク]「さびしい」の音変化。
It is just another version of さびしい. It uses the same kanji and has the same meaning.
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#20
aaronvanvalen Wrote:I was wondering if anyone can give me more insight into the difference between さびしい and さみしい cos I find I hear さみしい a lot more but I am not sure if there is an actual difference.
Both are correct. Historically さびしい is older, and it's the standard pronunciation in TV news. In real life, a lot of people differentiate the two. If you want to distinguish them, you use さみしい when you feel lonely and use さびしい when you describe a desolate place. It's a matter of preference, though.
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#21
What does 気にしないで mean? Google translate tells me it means "nevermind" but how does "nevermind" and the literal translation come together?
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#22
Nii87 Wrote:What does 気にしないで mean? Google translate tells me it means "nevermind" but how does "nevermind" and the literal translation come together?
Do you mean 気にしないで as an independent, standalone sentence? Then it's like "Nothing," "Never mind," etc. Here are some examples:

Me: *sigh* はぁ…
You: What's up? どうかした?
Me: Nothing. 何でもない。気にしないで。

Me: Thanks! You're the best!! ありがとう!お前最高!
You: Not at alll. 気にしないで。

Me: Oops! Sorry, I stepped on your foot. おぉっと、ごめん。つい足ふんじゃった。
You: That's all right. 気にしないで。

If it's part of a sentence, I can't help you without context.
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#23
Nii87 Wrote:What does 気にしないで mean? Google translate tells me it means "nevermind" but how does "nevermind" and the literal translation come together?
I tend to translate 気にしないで as "Don't worry about it." That would fit all of magamo's examples, I think. Obviously it'll change depending on context, but I think that gets the general feeling across, at least in my experience.
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#24
Wow! Thanks guys! =D
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#25
I found another word for husband: うちの人. GODS japanese have many words for that. What is that one used for? I have so many husbands-cards in Anki, I need to name them somehow..
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