In Japanese, some foods end in "焼き". What does it mean? some examples: たこ焼き, お好み焼き, 照り焼き, etc. I apologize if I miswrote any of these because I just started learning Japanese. But what does the suffix "yaki" mean?

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    I don't think this would be very hard to look up by oneself. – Angelos Nov 17 '20 at 18:28

At the word level, 焼き means "bake(d)" or "grill(ed)". It works slightly differently depending on whether it's used as a prefix and a suffix.

When 焼き is used as a prefix, it just literally means "grilled/baked ~".

  • 焼き魚 grilled fish
  • 焼きトウモロコシ grilled corn
  • 焼きおにぎり baked onigiri

But when 焼き is used as a suffix, it forms a specific (hot) food name related to the word before it. The word before it can even be a place name or a person name. Usually you cannot translate it like "baked/grilled ~".

  • 今川焼き Imagawayaki (not "baked Imagawa")
  • たこ焼き takoyaki or "octopus ball" (not "grilled octopus")
  • 広島焼き Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (not "baked Hiroshima")
  • すき焼き sukiyaki (not "baked shovel")
  • 山賊焼き sanzokuyaki (not "baked bandits"; essentially a grilled chicken)
  • どら焼き dorayaki (not "baked gong")
  • 目玉焼き sunny-side up fried egg (not "grilled eyeballs")

Most of these are unique to Japan and are not translatable. We can never imagine what these actually look like correctly from the appearance of these words. After all, 焼き as a suffix is just a convention to name a "hot" dish.


It means: bake, fry, cook.

www.jisho.org is a dictionary.


The person above already gave you a good answer but to add on- The words that you gave examples of pretty much mean:

"たこ焼き”:cooked octopus "お好み焼き”:cooked preference-since you can put things to your preference in okonomiyaki

'yaki' doesn't always have to be related to food, for example, '焼き物’ is pottery (yakimono) roughly translated to "baked thing".

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