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To learn Japanese I'm watching J-drama. My question is going to concern one of the dialogues.

In Good Morning Call a boyfriend and girlfriend give their friend a pair of boxershorts as a housewarming gift because she will now live alone. They think it's a funny gift. When she stares at it without smiling, he says:

あれ?ウケなかった?

My question is:

Can one 冗談{じょうだん}をウケる in Japanese to mean "to get a joke"? Is this what it means here?

marked as duplicate by Chocolate Jun 24 at 0:34

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He's essentially asking 'Huh? You didn't like the joke?'.

As discussed in this forum the slang ウケる means 'the joke carries'/'the joke is received'. Often times people use it to exclaim that they find something funny. なかった is the plain past negative conjugation (changing it from 'the joke is received' to 'the joke was not received'). And given that he's speaking to a friend, he will use plain/casual verb forms.

It seems the slang evolved from the word 受ける, so I'm using this conjugation for reference. It's difficult to find much on the use of the slang itself.

  • Would anyone care to explain the down vote? I ultimately answer stack exchange questions as part of my own language study and would like to learn what the correct translation is. – Ryan Jul 24 at 20:02

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