July 28, 2009

Japanese Slang: Like, for Now, Whatevs.

Quick, what do you say if you have just arrived in an izakaya and you are Japanese? Answer: とりえず生!(toriaezu nama, meaning "for now, give me a beer on tap!"). Toriaezu is a word that indicates that something may be for just now. For now, that beer is all you need, but in a little while, you will probably want a little more. Or a lot. Beer is the official starter among Japanese drinkers; they seem a little put off when I don't follow their toriaezu pattern.

But when you have to say, shucks, I guess the foreigner's foreigny foreign ways can't be helped, what do you say? Answer: まぁ、しようがないな (maa, shiyouganai naa, meaning "Well , this can't be helped [silly foreign foreigner]"). The drawn out maa in this phrase signals resignation. Today's slang uses toriaezu and maa blended together, as とりま

Breakdown of とりま
Meaning: For now, meh/ it'll have to do I guess/this is crap, but... etc.

Components: From 取り敢えず (toriaezu, meaning for now or first of all) and まぁ/まあ (maa, well...)

Origin: The two terms were first mixed by girls in conversations, and from their it worked it's way into the internet to the point where any youngish person may use it.


Popularity: Pretty popular online. You may see it on blogs or on mixi in phrases like とりま日記 (torima nikki, meaning a little journal full of saccharine pics of my cat, but not me, because I, as a Japanese person, can't put my face online) or とりまプロフ (torima purofu, meaning the crappy profile I just threw together... I like movies! That's cool, right? Please somebody love me). Those are the literal translations.

Anyways, toriaezu, nama! Play us out, boys.