Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've heard this word used quite a few times now, and I'm tired of pretending to understand it. Why does 「やきもち」 refer to being jealous? Is this a slang word? How do people use this word?

share|improve this question
    
An explanation for the down vote would be nice. –  Chris Harris Sep 20 '12 at 18:41
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The やき of やきもち can be written in two ways, 焼く and 妬く.

Assuming you know the former(焼く), 妬く can mean to be jealous. So, the word is a play on words that have the same sound. The もち part, meaning rice cake (餅) is said to come from 気持ち, in other words やきもち originated from the phrase 妬く気持ち (whether もち actually originated from 気持ち or not is unclear though).

Sometimes you will see it written as カタカナ (ヤキモチ) and young people often use it. For example:

私の彼氏は超ヤキモチ焼き <-- As if spoken by a young female

女のやきもちって恐ろしい

However, this word has existed for quite some time, so I wouldn't consider it to be slang.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks! the information about 妬く was also interesting! –  Chris Harris Sep 6 '12 at 4:49
add comment

Why does 「やきもち」 refer to being jealous?

yakimoti has two meanings: 1) a grilled rice cake, and 2) jealousy. It took on the second meaning due to the fact that yak-u means (among other things) "to be jealous".

(Note that "jealous" is an adjective, while yakimoti is a noun. As such, jealousy (noun) is more appropriate.)

Is this a slang word?

No. It has been a well established word for several hundred years.

How do people use this word?

Usually in the form of "~ ni yakimoti wo yaku".

share|improve this answer
add comment

For more information, the Kanji root of the word is 焼 which means: bake, burning.

When you are jealous, you feel it burning inside you, right?

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.