This particular gif shows a character blushing, with the word 「てれり」... but isn't 「照{て}れる」 (to be shy; to be bashful) an ichidan verb? Is てれり valid? What does it mean? (A jisho.org search for tereri doesn't show anything useful)



2 Answers 2


This is a kind of 擬態語 (phenomime) that refers to the act of becoming shy. So "てれり" can mean "blush." This kind of onomatopoeia is often freely created, especially in comics.

てれり is one of those created in this way, so it's not in dictionaries.

てれり seems to come from the verb 照れる. Though grammatical discussion is not so meaningful, this can be looked at as 照れ (the 連用形 of 照れる) + り (suffix).

り is a common suffix among onomatopoeia. I feel that it indicates that a small action was completed in a short time. The suffix り is seen in other common onomatopoeia, e.g. ころり, ぽろり and どろり. "っ" (the small つ) is another suffix that has a similar meaning. Thus てれり can be replaced by てれっ here.

  • 4
    I feel I sometimes hear てれてれ and てれっ, and I don't see anything otaku-ish in them (although they're slangy and not something listed in a dictionary). But using り here is close to a creative wordplay.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 4:35


EDIT: I better translate my answer, what I am stating is that it means 'Blush' in the context, but is NOT valid Japanese as the question asks.

And to address an issue with the other answer, it is definitely not a 擬態語{ぎたいご}, Explanation here An example of them is below,


  • Trying to translate your answer by myself: '"照れる" seems to be totally Anime-geek jargon. I think this isn't correct Japanese." Did I get that right?
    – muru
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 15:28
  • In my opinion, this answerer thinks that てれり is an otaku word, and has the meaning of 照れる. He also thinks it's not correct Japanese, like you've said.
    – rhyaeris
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 16:09
  • Viewed as correct or not, the mechanism is real. ちらっと⇨ちらりと, for example. One appears in more dictionaries than the other. I would put it in the same status as ら抜き. Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 20:03
  • @muru, What I am saying is this is not valid Japanese and purely anime used word.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 23:58
  • 1
    @bright-star, 質問者がvalidかどうかを聞いてるが、イエスかノーを言うのあればノーでしょう。現代の一般的なスラングではないし、あくまでも作者が面白く言っているだけです。ここは日本語を勉強するフォーラムではないでしょうか?もし「てれり」を使ってしまうと、正しい日本語ではないと必ず言われます。
    – KyloRen
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:34

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