I want to equate the quality of something to an apple. (Bare with me, just using a random noun to make the desired construct clearer.) But instead of going around it and saying something like "it looks like an apple" or "has apple-like qualities", I want to just go ahead and say "appleness", like "Your appleness is amazing". Evidently this can't be done in valid English, but is there a way to do this in valid Japanese?

Slightly better example: "Your childishness is annoying." If don't want to say 'childishness' and instead want to specify the exact level of referenced age, say grade-schooler: "Your grade-schooler-ness is annoying." Is this doable?

2 Answers 2


To add to macraf's answer, らしさ and っぽさ are slightly different, and not always interchangeable.

らしさ suggests an integral set of qualities or appearance, and is generally approving of those qualities.

っぽさ is much more vague, and can be used in a dismissive way.

Although you can say either りんごらしさのある味 or りんごっぽさのある味 to praise a flavor, only 〜っぽさ can be used to criticize a flavor. So if you're calling out someone's annoying grade-schooler-like behavior, that would be 小学生っぽさ and not 小学生らしさ.

The two need to be distinguished carefully with some nouns like 子供, because 子供らしさ is a good thing and 子供っぽさ is a usually a bad thing.

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    Yes, mirka makes a good point here. This may be similar to usage in English: 女らしい = "womanly", as a positive. 女っぽい = "womanish" as a possibly bad thing. Same for 男らしい "manly" and 男っぽい "mannish". Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 19:55

Not directly as 〜さ makes a noun out of an adjective.

You can first make an adjective out of a noun by adding 〜らしい and then make it a noun again by changing to 〜らしさ.

In fact you can even find the word "appleness" アップルらしさ used/defined in 日経新聞 article, so not a bad example at all.

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    Perfect, thanks for the added explanation. I wish I could +10 for coming across アップルらしさ. If only they were talking about actual apples so that I could find out what my example really meant...
    – idlackage
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 9:46
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    @idlackage You can find examples of りんごらしさ or りんごっぽさ on the web, although they aren't particularly common! ameblo.jp/art-sketch-cafe/entry-10826838584.html - club.coneco.net/user/34725/review/75987 - ptakato.com/banapple
    – user1478
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 10:21
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    Afraid you are not reading that article correctly. 「アップルらしさ」 is about the company Apple, not about an apple or apples as a fruit, which is what OP is talking about .
    – user4032
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 10:40
  • Would りんごらしさ work?
    – Blavius
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 15:05

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