I understand all of the words other than "クソ" in the phrase "クソコラグランプリ". "コラ" means photomontage, photoshop or the like (from "collage"?). "グランプリ" transliterates as "grand prix", which roughly means competition.

But what about "クソ"? Its literal meaning is faeces, and some people have translated the whole phrase into English as crappy collage grand prix. I'm suspicious that it doesn't have a nuance of inferior quality, which is a common meaning of "crappy" these days. Instead, might it have a nuance of extremely unpleasant, or maybe be used as an intensifier?

Kotaku mentions that the phrase has previously been used in the context of Final Fantasy 15.

  • It seems that the word is so new that the nuance is very much unsettled: dic.nicovideo.jp/a/%E9%9B%91%E3%82%B3%E3%83%A9
    – null
    Jan 23 '15 at 9:51
  • 1
    It is used colloquially all the time as "crap". クソゲー (Crap game). Also note that it can be used literally as excrement from just about anywhere. 目くそ、鼻くそ are real things. Jan 23 '15 at 13:16

It's not uncommon to see people use apparently derogatory words among themselves to increase the togetherness of community, and so does Japanese internet society, as a long tradition.

You can find a number of such Japanese memes like これはひどい "that's terrible", マジキチ "absolutely crazy", 作者は病気 "the author's sick" etc. which actually praising their eccentricity as a sign of creativity. I guess English speakers could easily get the nuance, too.

The クソ here, too, just plainly means "crappy", "trash" or "nonsense", but also serves for multiple purposes: to show authors' modesty, to suggest their novelty, and to represent collective unity.


A コラ (or コラ画像) can roughly be devided into two categories:

  1. A コラ that looks as if it were genuine. For example, an image of an anime character, porn actress, etc., whose head is skillfully replaced with the head of someone else. Making a good コラ in this sense requires a great amount of time and skill.

  2. A コラ that is meant to be served as a pure joke, as in #FF15クソコラグランプリ. We can find many quick-and-dirty コラ tweeted just a few minutes after an anime episode is broadcast. You don't have to be a Photoshop wizard to create this kind of コラ, because the existence of unnatural edges or lighting doesn't matter.

And the word クソコラ, which emerged very recently, specifically refers to コラ in the latter sense. So the nuance of クソ here is "quick, dirty but funny." There are many people who regard themselves not as a コラ職人 but as a クソコラ職人, and I think they do that for either (or both) of the following reasons:

  • Because they don't want to be criticized for being unskillful.
  • Because they want to show their respect for traditional and skillful コラ職人.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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