I came across this phrase today:


From context, it looks like it should mean something like "cute" or "poor you", but I couldn't find it on jisho.org or goo.ne.jp.

Is there a Japanese equivalent of urbandictionary, somewhere I can look when standard dictionaries fail?


Edit: Removed mention of かわいそう, as it was a distraction from the question.

  • かわいい and かわいそう are usually thought of closer to antonyms than synonyms.
    – BillyNair
    Jul 16, 2012 at 18:47
  • 1
    @BillyNair I think he used 「そう」when he probably meant「らしい」
    – Chris
    Jul 16, 2012 at 18:58
  • Most likely right @Chris. And as for the actual question: I used to have a link to maybe the best Onomatopoeia site, it was black with reddish orange letters, maybe the most complete one I've ever seen, but can not find it!! The link was on my old computer that died... If anyone finds that one post it here, please!! (ps. this is a close second: bit.ly/NDBDOW)
    – BillyNair
    Jul 16, 2012 at 19:02
  • @Chris Reading your comment, now I see what the OP was at. Until then, the relevant part in the question did not make any sense to me.
    – user458
    Jul 16, 2012 at 19:04
  • @BillyNair They are totally different. Not even antonyms. What I think is that an antonym for かわいい is 憎らしい, and an antonym for かわいそう is perhaps 相応 (not sure on this part).
    – user458
    Jul 16, 2012 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


I'm not Japanese, but as far as I know 「むぎゅむぎゅ」depicts squeezing something softly probably more than once as Sawa pointed out. I think you can use it in relation to some texture that has elasticity. The context it is used in can be cute, but is not limited to it. For instance, you see 「むぎゅむぎゅ」used to describe how the dough of a bagel feels. However, it is probably most common to use it when talking about skin or fat. Humorously, you can find some videos of cats on YouTube with descriptions containing 「むぎゅむぎゅ」.

I'm not sure why, but I wasn't able to find it in a dictionary to my surprise. However, I know of two dictionaries that might be able to help which have entries for onomatopoeia or 擬音語.

Those are Nihon Jiten and Zokugo-dict.

  • 2
    +1, but I would say squeezing rather than grabbing. The repetition of むぎゅ expresses repeated action. It is not just once.
    – user458
    Jul 16, 2012 at 18:28
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    I have the JED dictionary (bit.ly/NrKBDc) on my phone, it came up with ムギュウ - Squeezing, hug, hugging.
    – BillyNair
    Jul 16, 2012 at 19:33
  • Thanks for the answers, and for the dictionary recommendations - I'll add them to my list of tools. The "hug" meaning makes sense in context - person A wants to return home, person B comments on their status, I guess expressing that they want to hug person A! (むぎゅむぎゅ) Cheers. Jul 16, 2012 at 22:56

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