October 1, 2009

Japanese Slang: Salary Man Derivatives

I've noticed that マン (man, from the English) gets used in a lot of words over here. The most common word is サラリーマン (sarariiman) which I think is actually not slang (it's too common), but a set word for Japanese business men (and women) from the British English term salaried man. The ubiquity of salary men has led to the use of a lot of "riiman" getting affixed to other words and used as slang. Here's a few of the manly words.

Mega Salary Man Breakdown:

ザラリーマン: zara (common)+riman= a boring salary-man, like all the rest of them.
Nuance: can be used in self-derision

ヒラリーマン: hira (from 平社員, rank and file staff member)+riiman= a peon with no power at work.
History: this word got a boost when a politician, one the Koizumi Children, described himself as a former peon. "I'm just a small town girl that likes hockey and is looking forward to working with a political maverick," is the quote I think.
Alternate form: hirarii without the man

チャラリーマン: chara (from チャラチャラ, to show off)+riiman= a salary man that tries to pretend he is cool by wearing gaudy clothes and styling their trendy FF7 hair. They reserve a lot of their showing off for outside of work.
Alternate meaning: A salary-man commuting on his granny-bike (from ちゃりんこ).

モバリーマン: moba (mobile phone)+riiman=One of those dudes that can't put the phone or laptop down outside of work and relax.

Maybe I'll do a few more salary-man words some time, but for now, enjoy

EDIT: Oh, care to add your own riiman words, Dear Reader?