There's a slang word "poo" in Japanese that means something along the lines of "unemployed" but does it describe a specific situation? For example "NEET" which is also used in Japan, ニート, means "Not in Education, Employment, or Training". In otherwords, NEET is not just unemployed, it's unemployed and not trying to find employment nor trying to better yourself through education.

So, does "poo" describe a specific situation? As in 「私はプーです」

1 Answer 1


プー is an abbreviation of プー太郎.

プー太郎 is originally 風太郎, which was a slang word for day workers who did not have a regular job. (The kanji 風 may be from 風来坊, a much older word.) Later this word came to mean "unemployed person". For details, see this article from NHK.

この「プータロー」という言葉、その起こりは1950年頃までさかのぼります。終戦直後の横浜を中心に、定職に就いていない日雇い労働者のことを「プータロー(風太郎)」と呼んでいました。(...略...) その後、プータローという言葉は、1980年代頃に全国で使われるようになりますが、その意味は「日雇い労働者」ではなく、ただの「無職者」を指す言葉へと変化していきます。

Basically, プー just means 無職の人, and it's a mere slang word that has never been formally defined like NEET. By the way, the technical meaning of NEET is not well understood by Japanese people, and they are using it just as a newer synonym of プー/無職. I know it's technically incorrect to say "今、資格の勉強中でニートだよー", but I doubt the majority of Japanese people understand that. Those who are not trying to find any job or education opportunity is close to 引きこもり.

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