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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Japanese Laughter - a Thee-for-One Deal
This is so typical of the way that Japanese slang works that I had to share.

English speakers often use "lol" to indicate laughter (except when it means "lots of love", but I gather this has almost died out - David Cameron got lolled at for using it that way, I recall). The equivalent in Japanese is the kanji "笑", which comes from the verb "笑う/warau", "to laugh".

However, later, some Japanese - thinking that English was cool - decided to use the English letter "w" - the first letter of "warau" - instead. Hence you will sometimes see "wwww" being used to indicate laughter.

More recently, some other Japanese looked at those rows of "w"s and decided they looked a bit like blades of grass. So, the new way of indicating laughter is to use the kanji "草" (kusa), which means "grass".

Three classic Japanese slang-making methods in one: a) abbreviation; b) borrowing from English; c) pictograms.

That's so cool!

It's a little bit like the way "Okay," which derives from a pseudo-Dutch clique of New York City bright young things changing "all right" into "all correct" into the Dutchier "Oll Korrect," which becomes O.K.

And, in Japanese, "オッケー"!

What do the characters mean?

They spell out "Okay", but in a way that sounds more like "Okkaay" (it's hard to get it across without easy access to phonetic script!).