January 30, 2009

Japanese Slang: Unibare

ユニバレ is a combination of two words:
  • ユニクロ (yunikuro, Uniqlo): a cheap clothing store chain
  • ばれる: letting the cat out of the bag

    Together, they create a new word, which means for someone to notice that you, ohmigosh!, bought your clothes at Uniqlo. This spells social death in Japan, but at the same time, with a bad economy and freeter lifestyles abounding, getting the cheap clothes of Uniqlo is a good way to survive. [source]
    Here's Uniqlo, trying to act all cool in a video, but we know they be posers:
    It's like Japan is one big junior high, making fun of you for wearing the wrong brand clothes. When I was in the 7th grade, I remember asking a guy if one could buy Stussy at K-mart. All the cool kids had Stussy shirts. This naive bumpkin question of mine became hot gossip around the school, and I was mortified. Why the hell did we all care about fashion at that age anyways? Normal teen anxiety? Or was it just my odd town?