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Questions tagged [puns]

ダジャレ. A form of wordplay which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Although puns are usually immediately recognizable by a native speaker, they can be very difficult for a learner to understand.

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1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Is this a wordplay?

I came across this sentence while playing the game UFO: A Day In The Life. おいチ わかいチ とってもおいチ! The context is the following: You caught a flea that was stinging a girl, and after you do so it says the ...
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

Where is the pun in 22 and "nyan"?

Can someone please explain the pun? I don't see the relation between 22 and nyan. 猫【ねこ】の鳴【な】き声【ごえ】「ニャン」の語呂合【ごろあ】わせから「猫【ねこ】の日【ひ】」とされる2月【がつ】22日【にち】を前【まえ】に、調査【ちょうさ】結果【けっか】をまとめて公表【こうひょう】した The survey ...
24 votes
3 answers
4k views

Rules for slang of Japanese numbers

I often hear Japanese using a different method for saying a number like "248" as によんぱ — especially for highways and license plates. While this one is easy to understand, there are others that I don'...
2 votes
2 answers
338 views

Trying to understand ツッコミ and 突っ込まない and similiar

The character is walking around Tokyo with her boyfriend from the country. The boyfriend notices she's tired and tells her this: 少し 休んでいくか? 丁度いい所に休憩可能なホテルがある "Should we rest a bit? Just at the ...
0 votes
1 answer
139 views

Where does the abbreviation こ, apparently meaning to be in a state, come from?

I asked this question because I saw a pun in the song デンパラダイム where the producer tuned a lyric stating マッハ木っ端ミジンコ土っ管! I initially translated it as 'in the earthen pipes the negligibly tiny water fleas ...
1 vote
1 answer
555 views

Is Gelbooru a Japanese pun like how Danbooru is Cardboard?

Is Gelbooru (ゲルブール) a Japanese pun like how Danbooru is Cardboard (段ボール)? I don't think so, especially with that barely attested transliteration, but my only other guess on the name origin is that it'...
0 votes
1 answer
361 views

"Otomatone", is it made by combining "sound" and "hand"?

"Otomatone", is it made by combining "sound" and "hand"? Wiktionary confirms that "oto" is "sound", but not that "mato" means "hand&...
4 votes
1 answer
258 views

Translation of the phrase: 生きる水 in context

So I was translating this song (full lyrics, song, line at 3:26) and I ran across this line which I'm very confused about. 無駄な事は聞かないよ それが君の生きる水なら。 I don't listen to/I don't ask useless things. If ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who can explain the pun/wordplay on “onitada” in the story “Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun”

In the Light novel / Manga / anime : 弱キャラ友崎くん (Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun), the main heroine regularly says “ONItada !” (translated by “HEXactly !”). What would be the “de-pun-ed” word or how (from what ...
1 vote
4 answers
343 views

Literal rendition of 死ぬほど

I am trying to do a translation of this sentence and make it as literal as possible and keep the shine of the wordplay, as part of a wordplay game I am doing with a friend. I attempted a 直訳, but I am ...
0 votes
2 answers
661 views

Is “Hello Kitty” a pun for “I’m excited”?

I was trying to decode this text on my mom’s chopsticks. I think it is はろうきてぃ. Is it a coincidence that it kind of sounds like “Hello Kitty” when I plug it into Google Translate, but translates to, “I’...
1 vote
2 answers
188 views

上陸したよ. Is this slang?? How does it translate to meaningful English? Please see context in body

So this literally translates into "I landed it." Which is literally what Kamata-kun (this character from Shin Godzilla) did. But is that really all it means? Is it a Japanese double entendre or pun or ...
0 votes
1 answer
159 views

Riddle question

I would appreciate some help in solving this riddle. There is a sign that says "どくぞごじゆうにおとりくだちい" in front of candy samples at the candy shop. It means "Please feel free to take (one)." However, you ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the meaning of putting あれ at the end of these statements?

I saw an ad for Indeed today that had a couple tag lines with an あれ at the end, and I don't understand their use: 求人募集【きゅうじんぼしゅう】にサーチあれ。 仕事【しごと】、バイトさがしにサーチあれ。 Normally I'd assume that あれ would be ...
5 votes
1 answer
577 views

Sexual joke/pun with メスブタ and オスブタ

Context: a boxer has a lot of female fans that worship him because of his handsomeness. They call him 王子. His trainer is a pervert who likes to receive anal sex from women with sex toys. In an extra ...
4 votes
1 answer
158 views

Are those kanas "しい" ? (text found on a banner)

Today I learnt that "bald tug of war championship" was a thing in Japan, and came across some weird kana that I can't figure out (in the top left corner, underlined in red) : Is it simply しい ? That's ...
0 votes
2 answers
414 views

How do Japanese people use 🅱️-substitution, if at all?

A common internet meme is to use 🅱️ as a replacement for B's in a word, such as "🅱️oneless" or "trou🅱️le". Sometimes it's additionally done for C's, such as "🅱️o🅱️a 🅱️ola". Is this a thing ever ...
1 vote
3 answers
566 views

What does "ニセサマ" (nisesama) mean? It was in Chuunibyou

I was watching Chuunibyou and noticed this writing on Nibutani's back: "ニセサマ". I looked up what that meant and found nothing, so my question is what does ニセサマ translate to? Note: I know kana very ...
-1 votes
2 answers
319 views

Does 上鳴 mean shut up?

Does 上鳴 mean shut up? I didn't find a good meaning of this in the dictionary.
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

孫悟飯 - Songohan, why non-Japanese say it comes from "gohan = meal/cooked rice"?

As a French I've always heard that Songohan's name comes from gohan meaning meal/cooked rice. The English Wiki says the same and even mentions ご飯. But I don't understand why, since the names in the ...
21 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why is ふとんがふとんだ a pun?

I was reading an article about how the humour in the Yakuza games gets translated into English, and in the original Japanese a pun is made. ふとんがふとんだ The article says it is a play on words. But I ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does はっとばすぞ translate as "Don't make me hit you"?

I was watching some Nichijou, and in this one scene where Mai and Yuuko are helping Mio with her manga, Mai wrote in one of the text bubbles, "はっとばすぞ" and on the screen it translates to "Don't make me ...
3 votes
2 answers
226 views

is お死枚 a pun on 四枚?

So I was watching Hunter x Hunter episode 142, and at one point one of the characters is about to shoot a bunch of coins at the other, and he asks 君に渡すのは 何枚でしょう, which is correctly translated as "how ...
27 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is this funny?

A forum says that most Japanese will find this funny but I don't get it. Can anyone explain? (source) おもさを たいせきで わるんだなあ みつど
3 votes
2 answers
370 views

Sound effect らん with unknowing meaning, and meaning of pun 裂けて 避けた

So I was translating a song (full lyrics here: 反芻の印象) and there is an onomatopoeia in the middle which I don't understand. It's らん. It repeats multiple times (you can hear it in the song on Youtube, 【...
4 votes
1 answer
412 views

Translation of ハッピーニューイヤーンバカーン

I ran across this phrase アンハッピーニューイヤーンバカーン spoken by a manga character. Basically I see this reads as "A Happy New Year", but I'm not sure what the addition of ン's mean after ア and ハッピーニューイヤー. At the ...
6 votes
1 answer
305 views

Is 貝獣 an actual pun?

貝獣 Does this work out of context? Do these kanji even go together? Would it need furigana to make the pun apparent? Does it have any unfortunate implications?
7 votes
1 answer
254 views

How Could One Read 4649?

In the Japanese version of Smash 4 for the Wii U, if you let the game come up with a name for you, one of the names it pops out is 4649. I'm assuming this is some joke based on the readings of the ...
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can 牛 be an insult?

In a manga, while a guy was sleeping, someone used a marker to write on him. He wrote 牛 on his forehead and 空回り人生 on his chest. Considering it was a joke, can 牛 be offensive or funny in some way? I ...
9 votes
4 answers
409 views

Was the name for the Shōwa era a voluntary pun?

According to dictionaries, the WA 和 in 昭和 has both the meaning of peace, harmonious and Japan, japanese (although mostly as the first kanji of a compound, such as in 和語). So I wonder how Japanese of ...
4 votes
2 answers
391 views

Help with a Japanese joke: the link between メダカ and 小学生

I was playing my Japanese version of animal crossing new leaf and when I caught a Killifish the dialog said: メダカを 釣{つ}り上{あ}げた! まだ小学生{しょうがくせい}だな I get the gist of what it says but I think it's ...
4 votes
1 answer
471 views

“Uncle's jokes !?”

I recently heard about something that would be roughly translated as “uncle's jokes” (the Japanese word for it should be something like 伯父ネタ or 伯父ガル but I can't remember correctly what I heard the ...
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is there a Japanese equivalent of knock-knock jokes?

For those (non-natives, etc.) who maybe aren't familiar, knock-knock jokes are one of the lowest, most basic forms of American "comedy". They follow this format: A: Knock, knock B: Who's ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why the random katakana in 「すみっコぐらし」?

Some of you may be familiar with the San-X line of characters called すみっコぐらし. The shtick is that they're timid and like "living (ぐらし) in the corner (すみっこ)" I know katakana is frequently used for ...
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Why is みつぎもの written 賜ぎ物 instead of 貢ぎ物 in this comic?

I was reading Hunter x Hunter volume 24, when suddenly this thing appeared: 賜{みつ}ぎ物{もの} Just a bit of context: they are trying to infiltrate the enemy's base, and take advantage of one corrupt ...
3 votes
1 answer
460 views

Help with the meaning of 大絶賛 in this sentence

というわけで、俺は実家で只今大絶賛ひとり暮らし中である。 From what I can tell, the speaker is saying that for reasons mentioned he is living alone at home, but I don't see how 大絶賛 (which means very high praise) affects the ...
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the meaning of this pastry pun?

I saw a sticker set being used on a popular social platform the other day that I found very interesting. They were pictures of food items, sweets mostly, and had words next to them that seemed to be ...
2 votes
1 answer
691 views

What is the meaning of this joke? [closed]

In the video game Tingle's Love Balloon Trip, whose plot is a parody of The Wizard of Oz, there is a scene in which Kakashi, the scarecrow boy, says goodbye to a friend. The following dialog takes ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the origins of 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiru na)?

The gag expression 掘った芋いじるな (hotta imo ijiruna) sounds to japanese ears uncannily like "What time is it now?" I'm guessing this is Showa era humour, since English probably sounded more foreign then ...
2 votes
1 answer
280 views

What kind of butterfly is a 「ゼッコーちょう」?

In the video game "Tingle's Love Balloon Trip", a person asks the protagonist to catch a certain kind of butterfly. They want the dust from the butterfly's wings to use as a kind of fertilizer. The ...
9 votes
1 answer
712 views

How do jokes with "だけに" work?

There's a particular style of joke/pun in Japanese that I'm not sure how to describe, so let me provide some examples: カミングスーン、神だけに。 (said by someone who has recently become a 神) ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

"Alumi can" and "aru mikan" pun in Space Brothers anime

The subtitles don't explain this pun/joke at all in the episode 87 of Space Brothers anime, but I'd like to figure out how it works. There's a lot of repeating "arumi can" and "aru mikan" in the pun. ...
4 votes
1 answer
369 views

Is 髪隠し a pun on 神隠し?

The above is a picture of a piece of cloth that is often worn on the head as part of a 死に装束. I have most commonly seen it referred to as a 天冠, but have also seen it referred to as a 髪隠し. Did the ...
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is おやすみNASA胃?

I've seen this in several places. Is that a set phrase? What does that mean? I know that it's a way of saying "Goodnight," but the NASA胃 doesn't make sense.
2 votes
1 answer
805 views

Is punning with homophonic kanji common?

I recently discovered that the mascot for テレビ[塔]{とう} is テレビ[父]{とう}さん. Answering whether this was a deliberate pun is probably impossible, but I'd like to know, in general, is it common to replace one ...
7 votes
1 answer
314 views

Are snowclones common in Japanese?

Are snowclones common in Japanese? A snowclone is a neologism for a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as "a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, ...
6 votes
2 answers
535 views

What is the pun in 猥シャツ?

Could someone explain why 猥シャツ is defined as "obscene shirt (pun)"? I don't understand how this is a pun. 猥シャツ 【わいシャツ】 (n) (See Yシャツ) obscene shirt (pun) Source: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~...
2 votes
1 answer
848 views

Japanese pun to pronounce an English phrase [closed]

I have once heard that, during World War II, when the American Troops invaded Okinawa, they wanted the Japanese civilians to surrender, and in order to let the Japanese say the phrase "I surrender", ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why the mixture of *on* and *kun* readings of numbers?

One thing that always puzzled me was why some terms and names that are based on numbers will mix the on and kun readings. I never really understood the rules for that, but it occurs to me that there ...
5 votes
2 answers
896 views

Fun with particles - making a sentence that uses as many as 'em

Let's have some fun with particles! Create a sentence using as many particles as you can. Rules: The sentence can combine any number of clauses or ideas but it must be meaningful (i.e. no gibberish) ...