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One of the dictionary definitions for えぐい is "amazing".

I've never actually come across this sense of the word in any sentences. Does anyone have examples of where native writers have used えぐい to mean something like "amazing"?

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That is why I don't like Jisho. It does not explain things; It just throws definitions at you.

"Amazing", or rather 「すごい」, is a new and slangy meaning of 「えぐい」. It is used quite heavily among the younger generations nowadays. It is used far more often than you seem to think, too. Even I, who is not so young, used the word for that meaning to describe the excellent quality of the pizza served at my favorite pizzeria in Nagoya the other day.

We use the word 「やばい」 for the same kind of new meaning these days as well. For both 「えぐい」 and 「やばい」, the new meaning is positive, which is the opposite of what Japanese-learners might think.

This video is all about homeruns, but you might want to check its title at least.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgOe6mfrs9Y

  • Interesting. If course I know すごい but I didn't realize it was a new way of saying えぐい. – kandyman Nov 29 '17 at 20:56
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    @kandyman I think what l'électeur said was that a new meaning for the word えぐい is すごい, not that すごい is a new way of saying えぐい. – yushi Nov 30 '17 at 1:03
  • I hear 「えぐい」in common usage mostly as a negative. Not wanting to do something or having a strong negative reaction will get the comment 「えぐっ!」 – Jesse Casman Dec 5 '17 at 18:35
  • I agree with 「ヤバい」. But positive meaning for 「エグい」?hmmmm....I was once used before but it was a negative one. – Kentaro Tomono Jan 30 at 13:10
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使い方としては日本語の「ヤバい」、英語の "crazy", "insane" などと似ており、状況によって良い意味にも悪い意味にもなります。ただし、個人的には、肯定的な意味で使われる頻度は「ヤバい」よりかなり低い気がします。私は「エグい」をほめ言葉として自分で使うことはまずありません。個人差や地域差は大きいと思います。

また、「ヤバい」や "amazing" は比較的素直な賞賛の言葉として使えますが、「エグい」は個性的・衝撃的・異質な物に対して使われることが多い気がするので、誤解を受けないよう注意をする必要があると思います。嬉しそうな顔で「あの映画マジでヤバかった」と言われたら単純に褒めているのだろうと感じますが、「あの映画マジでエグかった」と言われたら、個人的には「どういう意味で?」と聞き返したくなります。

  • ありがとう。じゃあ、「えぐい」を褒め言葉として使うとしたら、どんな時に使えるのでしょうか。例文を挙げていただけますか。 – kandyman Nov 29 '17 at 21:03
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    @kandyman 何に対しても使っていいですが、ストレートなほめ言葉だとは受け取られない可能性が高くなります。個人的には「エグい音楽」と聞くと、異才などと同様、褒めているのか褒めていないのかよく分からないけど、とりあえず印象には残る、extraordinary な曲なのだろう、というように感じます。 – naruto Nov 30 '17 at 3:04
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It gets used in a way very similar to the way "gnarly" is used in American slang.

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    Does your assessment include the fact that "gnarly" is a very dated word that was in common use in the 1960's and is currently only used to hearken back to then? Just curious. – G-Cam Nov 29 '17 at 20:42
  • No, but I disagree with the premise of your question. The use of the word gnarly is strongly associated with skateboard culture and MTV. Its use was not common at all in the 60's. If anything it peaked in the early 2000s or late 90's. Here is a graph. @G-Cam – user152152 Nov 30 '17 at 17:42
  • Wow. That's pretty irrefutable. Hard to believe though since I've never heard the word "gnarly" used in an unironic way that wasn't making fun or hippies. I guess I'm not part of skateboard culture. There's such a strong association with "gnarly" and tie-dye shirts in my mind. – G-Cam Nov 30 '17 at 19:07

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