I have been attempting to translate a song to improve my Japanese, but I came across a phrase that has me very confused. The phrase is 「腐っていく」。 It seems to be some sort of sexual pun?

Any help with understanding this phrase would be much appreciated. If you could go in-depth with your explanation, that would be even more appreciated!

  • 5
    What song? What are the rest of the lyrics? Why do you think something that means "to rot" would be a sexual pun? We're going to need a bit more information to answer this! Also are you sure there's some deeper meaning to this?
    – ssb
    Jul 4, 2014 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


In Japanese, people can metaphorically 腐る (lit. go rotten) in several ways:

  • feel meaningless; waste time/energy; be depressed

    spend time doing nothing, alone in my room

    be depressed after being rebuked badly

  • corrupt; commit bribing, peculation, etc.

    corrupt politician

  • become a fan of male-male romance manga/anime (yaoi)

    I'm completely addicted to yaoi thanks to my friends

    a yaoi book

The first two meanings are rather straightforward and don't require further explanation, I guess. The third one is a slangy expression used among otaku people. See the following articles:

Yaoi Fandom # Fujoshi in English Wikipedia

腐女子【ふじょし】 in Niconico daihyakka

  • 1
    – naruto
    Jul 8, 2014 at 9:48

腐{くさ}っていく literally means to go rotten. いく literally means to go, but in sexual contexts, it means to come, i.e. to orgasm. The meaning of the whole phrase as a possible pun would depend much on the greater context in which it is used (which, at this time of writing, has not yet been supplied).

  • 3
    I don't think the meaning of いく is very relevant here (yet), since we really have no idea why OP thinks that 腐っていく should have anything to do with a sexual pun.
    – Earthliŋ
    Jul 5, 2014 at 0:36
  • I agree. I threw that in there as that's the only possible sexual thing in the phrase that I can think of. Jul 5, 2014 at 1:43
  • 5
    I'm not the downvoter, but I can hardly believe this can be a pun for orgasm in any context (unless this is something like a comical love song between zombies, yet full of (sexually) explicit lyrics...)
    – naruto
    Jul 5, 2014 at 9:34
  • 2
    「~していく」の「いく」は、補助動詞subsidiary verbなので、それ自体が意味を持ったりpunになったりすることはないと思います・・・ところでdownvoteしたのは私じゃないです。
    – user1016
    Jul 5, 2014 at 17:58
  • 2
    – naruto
    Jul 6, 2014 at 5:16

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