Obama and Hillary now part of the Japanese lexicon

Interesting story during the ‘light & fluffy’ segment of the Fuji Network’s morning news today.

One of the standard ‘what are kids doing nowadays’ stories where they send a reporter out to Harajuku or Shibuya to investigate the latest youth slang. Some of the new words came from people, including ‘soneru’, meaning to overeat (from TV celebrity Gal Sone), while others were roman letter abbreviations of Japanese terms (‘FD’ is a warning that you’ve got dandruff on your shoulders, from fuke deteiru).

The meanings of the two candidate-inspired words don’t seem to have any reflection on the candidates themselves, and come from their similarity to Japanese terms:

Obama - a young guy who’s really into older women, a MILF-hunter. From obasan (aunt or older woman) mania.

Hilari - a rank-and-file office worker, cubicle drone. From hira (ordinary, common, flat) no sarariman (salaryman, or office worker).

No word yet on what a McCain is.

On that note, are you a KY guy?

No, but I work with a few.

I was thinking of the weird similarity between Obama and obasan the other day. (I was once an unsuccessful student of Japanese.) But there’s also a town in Japan called Obama. It’s a fishing village, and in Japanese Obama means “small beach.”

That region found itself in a minor quandry recently as not only was it home to the town of Obama, it was also where Palin’s semi-famous eyeglasses were made.

If only it had turned out that her glasses were actually made in the town of Obama, but alas, it was not to be.

To explain the joke: KY stands for “kuuki yomenai” (空気読めない), literally “can’t read the air.” It refers to that guy who continually does and says the wrong thing because he’s oblivious to what’s going on around him.

It was first used with former PM Abe, after his tendency to soneru on his own feet.

So you’re saying the Japanese lexicon may also borrow the word “Biden?”

I can’t read