In this question, it seems to me it was clearly established that , at the end of a sentence, is decidedly feminine. There was talk of a Kansai-ben with slightly different implications, but still within a range of femininity.

So, I'm reading Tintin in Japanese, as I do, and I come across the character Captain Haddock using :

Haddock saying wa

The situation is that he is on a plane that has dropped altitude suddenly, so his ears were plugged. They just popped, and he feels スッキリ("refreshed").

For those who don't know Captain Haddock, he is a gruff old sailor, who is not at all given to feminine speech. Quite the opposite. This expression really stands out.

Also, to the best of my ability to detect it, he does not use Kansai-ben, which I only mention because of the discussion of Kansai-ben in the other question.

So why did the translator opt to have the Captain use to end the sentence here? Is it an ironic use of feminine speech? Does it have another use I'm not aware of?

2 Answers 2


According to 大辞林, わ can also have a non-feminine meaning of:

軽{かる}い詠嘆{えいたん}や驚{おどろ}きなどの気持{きも}ちを表{あらわ}す。 - Expresses mild feelings of admiration, surprise, etc.

So the idea here is to express that lovely "oh!" feeling you get when your ears pop, as you can see by his smile.

I can't honestly say how prevalent this is, or if you ought to use it.

  • from dictionary.goo.ne.jp, but I can't find it now yes it can be used by men; how prevalent is really a rather subjective question that will vary by region and who you ask. like many expressions in foreign languages, until you've assimilated it naturally, best to avoid using it
    – jmadsen
    Commented Oct 14, 2011 at 9:10
  • 5
    Also note that, if you're male, you must pronounce わ with a flat or falling accent: if you pronounce it with a rising accent, its meaning moves back into feminine territory again. Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 16:07

…したわ is a pretty oldish expression equivalent to today’s ……したよ, and it’s not a feminine particle at all.

We used to hear “(それで) せいせい(がっかり、すっきり、さっぱり)したわ – I feel relieved (disappointed, refreshed, clean)” spoken by middle-aged and elderly men quite often until a few decades ago, though we probably don’t hear it so often today.

Still it’s not unusual to hear young men and women say “やっぱり駄目だったわ - I couldn’t make it after all,” instead of “やっぱり駄目だったよ.”

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