More Japanese English words that just make no sense

Last time we scratched the surface of the world of nonsensical English words used in the Japanese language. We’re not even close to finished, so here are some more.

My boom:
You know that boom means craze, as in something everyone is in love with. My boom just means “something that I’m into these days”. It’s not really a boom.

Free size:
Means one size fits all. Unfortunately, it’s not free.

Take out:
This one’s so common and I’ve used it so many times that I often forget it’s not proper
English. It’s used when ordering food and it means “to go” or “to take away”.

This one is really baffling, because I have no idea where it could’ve come from. You know that in English consent means permission, but in Japan it means electric outlet. I guess the outlet is giving permission to the plug to steal its electricity? Speaking of outlets:

means outlet mall. Not electric outlet.

American dog:
Sounds like an insult from a Soviet towards an American during the cold war, but it’s less interesting than that. It’s just a corn dog.

A more complicated way of saying app. Which is strange, because the App Store is very popular in Japan. I heard people say that they thought app was short for “Apple”.
Cabin attendant: means flight attendant. I guess the cabin part comes from cabin crew.

Strange one. Means buffet. Apparently it comes from the hotel that introduced buffets to Japan. It had the word viking in it.

This one means microwave. Maybe the microwaves have a certain range?

OK, this doesn’t sounds exactly like English, but it’s supposed to be “don’t mind”. Same way Japanese people say Oh my Gaa, they just skipped a few letters. It means don’t worry about it.

Energish / High tension:
Both mean energetic or full of energy. Energish actually comes from German, and high tension… I have no idea, but it sounds like an International conflict or a thriller.

Pet bottle:
It’s not a bottle that you have as a pet, it’s just a plastic bottle. The PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, if you need to know. I.e. plastic.

We’re not done yet! So please come back for part three!

Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” “, by all means contact me about anything!


Related links:
Japanese English words that just make no sense
Efficiently studying Japanese
The amount of plastic in everyday life
The crazy world of Japanese mascots
Bizarre Japanese pizzas



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