March 24, 2009

Japanese Slang: This Hat is Made of Fail

Today's word is ポシャる. It means for someone's plans to get messed up when they are still half-realized. So lets do a breakdown already!

The Breakdown:
ポシャ: Comes from シャッポ(chapeau), which is the French word for hat. Also, it is reversed.
~る: A verbalizer (動詞化する接尾語 if you wanna get technical).
synonyms: おじゃんになる

The reason why hat was taken from French and then reversed and finally verbalized to come to mean spoiled plans is kind of unclear, but some think it has a relationship to the phrase シャッポを脱ぐ, which is to take of your hat off out of respect.
But anyways, the reversing, or partial reversing of words into slang is pretty common. I remember I did a post way back when I was still green to Japan about まいう (that one was featured on Japundit back then too, because I always had the makings of a Japan blogstar. Oh dear, all this bragging has ポシャらせた my post!) . There are also words like グラサン (reversed from sunglasses) and ワイハー(reversed from Hawaii)
You can find another example or two of a verbalized foreign originating ru-word by visiting a previous slang post I did.
As for usage, it seems to show up most often in past tense, which is not surprising. For example, "運動会は雨でポシャりましたが..."= "The school sports day was ruined by rain".