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Could someone explain why 猥シャツ is defined as "obscene shirt (pun)"? I don't understand how this is a pun.

猥シャツ 【わいシャツ】 (n) (See Yシャツ) obscene shirt (pun)

Source: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUEワイシャツ

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The pun is that the kanji 「猥」, read 「わい」, means "obscene", whereas 「ワイシャツ」 means "dress shirt". The portmanteau 「猥シャツ」 therefore means "obscene shirt".

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Is ワイ -> Y referring to the V formed by the neck and the | where the buttons are (you can tell I'm not in the shirt business)? – Karl Knechtel Aug 21 '11 at 8:47
@Karl: I'm pretty sure it's just because of the English pronunciation of the letter "Y". – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 21 '11 at 9:16
I've never heard a dress shirt called a "Y shirt" in English. Is that a UK thing? – Karl Knechtel Aug 21 '11 at 18:29
If 大辞林 is to be trusted, it actually comes from "white shirt", not "Y shirt". How it got from ホワイト to ワイ is not explained. Maybe by analogy with "T shirt"? – rdb Aug 21 '11 at 19:22
@rdb If you are following that, then it should be clear that in English, the counterpart to ホワイト is rather pronounced like ワイ; is aspiration, and is often not pronounced in English prnounciation. – user458 Aug 21 '11 at 23:55

Look up the word 猥褻. It will all become clear.

猥褻 = わいせつ = obscenity

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I couldn't find 褻 in my usual reference, and trying it with Google gives primarily Chinese rather than Japanese results. – Karl Knechtel Aug 21 '11 at 8:45
I think the word is normally written in hiragana. You can limit Google searches by language. If you limit your search to Japanese, this page should be among the first hits: ja.wikipedia.org/wikiわいせつ Alternatively: dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/je2/81626/m0u猥褻/ – rdb Aug 21 '11 at 19:11

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