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Slang and other words in カタカナ

dhmkhkk

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This thread is a tribute to the words written in katakana.

I personally find it extremely difficult to decipher such words. Even though most of them (?) are borrowed words like "present" and "Arbeit", there are quite a few which I cannot find in any (known to me) language. So I think it would be really helpful if Japanese-speaking users could explain where such words derived from.

To start with: ドタキャン - to cancel in the last minute. I can only guess that キャン is probably from "cancel". What is the "ドタ" part? A few examples how the word is used would be helpful as well 🙂: Thank you!
 
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Toritoribe

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What came to my mind right now is エンコ (this word is in the similar construction to ドタキャン, maybe nearly obsolete nowadays, though).
example sentence
昨日急に車がエンコして参ったよ。
I was troubled since my car was suddenly broken down yesterday.

Can you guess the etymology of this word? (This question is hard to answer even for native Japanese speakers, I think.)
 

dhmkhkk

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Just a totally wild guess:
エンジン + こなす (熟す)?
 

Toritoribe

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Excellent! You got エンジン correctly.:emoji_thumbsup:
コ is from 故障(しょう), i.e., it originally means "engine has broken down".
 

Toritoribe

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There also are loanword origin verbs. ミスる, meaning "to fail/miss", is easy-to-understand since it's simply from "to miss", so how about ディスる and サボる? The former is just a slang, but the latter is treated as a common verb, so it's often written in hiragana and the dictionary has the entry of this word.
example sentences

昨日あいつにディスられて腹が立った。
I was angry since I ~ by him yesterday.

学校をさぼって彼女と映画を見に行った。
I ~ school and went to the movie with her.
 

dhmkhkk

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Hmmm the 1st one- no idea. It could be maybe from "to diss"? But I'm not sure how it is appropriate in the context you've given.

The 2nd one is "to skip" school. I must say I knew this word already from Genki. I took me a while to memorize it, and I did it by imagining how somebody "SABOtaged my going to school". But this was just a mnemonic to memorize the word, I don't think it actually came from the word "sabotage". Do you know the origin?
 

dhmkhkk

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I didn't know it as well! I thought "to diss" means something like "to hush", "to make somebody shut up". But English is not my native language, so I am probably mistaken.

WOW the one with sabotage really made my day... I honestly didn't exepct it haha :)

But I have a serious question to you, there is one word I cannot memorize, and it's a winter scarf マフラー. Where does it come from?
 

dhmkhkk

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Thanks, now I have also learnt a new English word :)
 

OoTmaster

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I didn't know it as well! I thought "to diss" means something like "to hush", "to make somebody shut up". But English is not my native language, so I am probably mistaken.
It can't mean "to hush", "diss" is a slang/shortened form of disrespect. As far as I know there's no other meaning in English for the term "to diss". Although I think it would be more common to spell it "dis" since it's based off disrespect.
 

dhmkhkk

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ゴミばこ - garbage can. Does anyone know why "gomi"?
 

Toritoribe

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Not all katanaka words are loanword origin. ごみ is a Japanese origin word, and it's written in katakana for emphasis there.
 

Julie.chan

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Ah, so that's the reason? Interesting. I've wondered why ゴミ is rendered in katakana for a while.
 

dhmkhkk

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How about サークル (club).

I will probably post katakana words on daily basis, there are just too many I can't figure the origin of :)
 

dhmkhkk

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omg haha thank you, I was thinking maybe クル comes from "club" or something like that... and it turned out to be so simple :) I remember I had the same confusion with フラッシュ, like... when I read "furasshu" I was looking for an English word starting with "fura", but definitely not flash :)
 

dhmkhkk

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Another one - to be popular. )))
彼女はそんなにきれいというわけではないがすごくモテる

Origin? :)
 

Toritoribe

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That's a Japanese origin word as same as ゴミ. Actually, dictionary has the entry of those words.

もてる【持てる】の意味
持つことができる意の「も(持)てる」から
人気がある。人から好意をもたれ、よい扱いをうける。
持てる(もてる)の意味 - goo国語辞書

サークル【circle】の意味
関心や趣味を同じくする人の集まり。同好会。「サークル活動」「演劇サークル」
circle(サークル)の意味 - goo国語辞書

ごみ【塵/芥】の意味
利用価値のないこまごました汚いもの。ちり。あくた。塵芥 (じんかい) 。「―の山」「―捨て場」
塵/芥(ごみ)の意味 - goo国語辞書

マフラー【muffler】の意味
防寒用の細長い襟巻き。
muffler(マフラー)の意味 - goo国語辞書

どたキャンの意味
《「土壇場でキャンセル」の意》俗に、直前になって約束や契約を取り消すこと。
どたキャンの意味 - goo国語辞書

I found even ディスる is in the dictionary.
ディスる
《「ディスリスペクト」の動詞化》(俗に)否定する。批判する。けなす。「大物歌手の商業主義を―・る」
ディスるの意味 - goo国語辞書
 

dhmkhkk

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Ah, that's great, thank you very much! I must say I haven't checked this dictionary before but now I see there is also the origin written in the brackets. Stupid me :)
 

Toritoribe

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No problem. As for the reason why モテる is written in katakana, katakana is basically used only for that meaning, and usually isn't used for the potential form of 持つ "to be able to have/hold/bring", so it would be also for distinguishing the meaning, not just for emphasis.
 
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