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Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tea. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Japanese Language Trivia of the Day:

Did you know how funny Japanese tea was? Neither did I, until someone called me お茶目. Never content to let a potentially interesting origin story go unexplored, I did some internet research and discovered that "tea" is hilarious!

First, you should know that by itself, can be defined as "mockery," and you should know that in all likelihood, it's 当て字。Many of the kanji in the words we're about to look at are listed as 当て字 on various internet sources.

お茶目
おちゃめ

ochame

playfulness; mischievousness


The 茶 here means おどける.






茶番

ちゃばん
chaban

farce




茶々
ちゃちゃ

disruption






茶々を入れる

ちゃちゃ を いれる
chacha wo ireru


to tease; make fun of








茶利
ちゃり
chari


the name for funny, farcical, humorous scenes in old Kabuki or bunraku dramas; archaic, but important for us because, according to some theories, it spawned ちゃら.






ちゃら

chara

nonsense; bullshit; random speech.


I don't know if ちゃら is ever used by itself, but it lends its meaning to all of the following compounds.



ちゃらほら
charahora

speaking senseless lies.


「ほら」 is a common attention getting utterance, that I always thought just meant "Look!" Along the same attention-related lines though, there's 法螺: which means boasting or bragging, which is where ちゃらほら pulls in the meaning of 嘘. Or it could just be, 「ほら!You're lying!」 But ちゃらほら is thought to be the precursor of the next word, ちゃらんぽらん。



ちゃらんぽらん
charanporan

off-hand, off-the-cuff, devil-may-care speech


There's an お笑いコンビ that goes by the name ザ・ちゃらんぽらん. You can see some of their stuff on YouTube, but they don't seem particularly funny to me.



ちゃらける
charakeru

irresponsible talk.


This gets used with an honorific, as either 「おちゃらける」 or 「おちゃらけ.」







べんちゃら
benchara


flattery


Again, use with the honorific 「お.」









ちゃらちゃら
charachara


Extremely hard to define, but it covers ideas of "messing around," "showing off," "lavishing someone with flattery," "the appearance of cheap flashy clothing," and "flippant behavior." I find all of these kinds of 擬音 words hard to use (I've had some DISASTERS, putting ぎりぎり into practice), but if you want to use it, it goes along with する。

ちゃんちゃら
chanchara


Probably the most commonly used of these phrases, judging by the number of internet posts devoted to it, 「ちゃんちゃら」 goes with 「おかしい」 like 'q' goes with 'u.' There are two definitions of something that's ちゃんちゃらおかしい:

1. So ridiculously funny that you can't help but to burst out laughing. Here's the Japanese definition , in case my translation is bad: 身のほど知らずで、噴き出したくなるほどおかしい.まったく滑稽だ.
2. A boast that is so brazenly untrue that it's strange/ridiculous: 身のほども知らない大言壮語を吐いておかしい.

You guys got a bonus 四字熟語 in that last definition there, and I found another one in my researches today that I'll post for you tomorrow. See you then.

Here are some of the links I used to write this post:
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