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Kids Talk

During a class yesterday, a 6th grade girl said in Japanese, "Hazui!" It sounded like Japanese, to be sure, but I didn't quite get what it meant, so I asked her what the hell the "Hazui" was. She answered, "It's 'hazukashii,' Sensei!" "Hey, is that what you're saying only among yourselves, the town kids here? Or has it become a common expression among kids all over Japan?" "Well, I have no idea. But everybody says so...."

"Hazukashii" means "ashamed" or "embarrassing." They, uh, at least the 6th graders in this town, have shortened the word to "hazui." Young people are good at inventing new lingo, like "Ko-gyaru go," or high-school-girl talk. One of the characteristics is abbreviation. "Muzui" for "muzukashii (difficult)" has long been used and seems to have established its position in the Japanese language. "Kimoi" for "kimochiwarui (disgusting, gross)" is also prevailing now. But "hazui" sounds uncool to me. It's rather kimoi, isn't it? And "kimoi" sounds also kimoi!


As if the various forms of Japanese adjectives weren't already difficult enough to master. Lucky for me that I don't want to talk like a 6th-grader.



Maji, maji! ;)