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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Trendiest Expressions of 2007

今年の流行語大賞

The annual list of the trendiest words was announced in Tokyo yesterday.

Topping the list for 2007 was an expression from a local dialect from Miyazaki Prefecture: どげんかせんといかん (Do gen ka sen to ikan). Meaning "I/we/somebody have/has to do something (to solve a problem)," it was popularized by former tv talent and current Miyazaki governor Sonomama Higashi (ne Hideo Higashi).

Number two was ハニカミ王子 (hanikami oji). This refers to the embarrassed smiles of teenage golfer and serious heartthrob Ryo Ishikawa. He is enormously popular among women. "Oji" means prince, "hanikami" bashful. Thus, the image is of an attractive, humble young man not sure how to respond to the attention of many women fans.

3. 大食い (o gui). Literally, this means "big eater" or "eat a lot." This was made popular by the tv idol Gyaru (gal) Sone, who is of a normal build but can eat with the best of them. She is alleged to have downed 70 plates of sushi in one go.

4. 消えた年金 (kieta nenkin). The expression "vanished pension" refers to the millions of people who were never properly registered for their pensions in a huge government scandal.

5. そんなの関係ねぇ (son na no kankei nei). The stock phrase of Yoshio Kojima, a young "talent" who appears on tv programs in a speedo bathing suit, this roughly translates as "that has nothing to do with it." Based mainly on the antics of the odd Kojima, it is often heard now.

6. どんだけぇ〜 (don dake). This is the favored expression of Ikko, a female impersonator who is also a professional makeup artist. It means "Is that all?!"

7. 鈍感力 (donkan ryoku). "The Power of Insensitivity" was the title of a popular book by Junichi Watanabe. It means to not sweat small things, that those who take life as it comes will win in the end.

8. 食品偽装 (shokuhin gizo) means to falsely label food products. Many of the big names--Shiro Koibito, Fujiya--in the Japanese food industry were found to be fiddling with the labels of their food stuffs.

9. ネットカフェ難民 (net cafe nanmin) are the net cafe "refugees" who, in spite of having work, are forced to spend their nights in Internet cafe booths as they cannot afford to rent or buy a house or apartment.

10. 猛暑日 (mo sho bi) are the burning hot days of summer, or, to be more precise, days hotter than 35 degrees Celsius. And there were many of them this year.

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