スラング・ネットスラング [Part 1]

Hey Everyone!

How was everyone’s weekend? Hope it was good!

Have you ever gone to the comments section on Youtube and wondered to yourself why Japanese people are obsessed with 草 (kusa) ‘grass’? As many of you probably already know, this is not some reference to the forbidden leaf, but actually a ネットスラング (Abv. for internet slang) that means something like ‘LOL’.

:open_book: Let’s look at the dictionary definition of this word. :open_book:

Screenshot 2024-06-07 at 08-58-27 草意味 - Google Search

Translation
草 (くさ)Grass
[Noun]

  1. General term for plants whose above-ground parts are soft and non-woody.
  2. In particular, it is limited to saying the following:
  • Things that just grow without any particular reason. Weeds
  • Thatched roof.
  • Hay
  1. Abbreviation for ‘grass color’. Dark green.

As you can see from this, 草 just means ‘grass’ and has nothing to do with anything funny or entertaining. So why in the heck is 草 used like ‘LOL’? In the past, when people still used normal words on the internet, ‘LOL’ on the Japanese side of the internet was written as (笑) (wara) ‘laugh’. Yes, with the brackets :upside_down_face:.

As you can probably tell, ( wara + space + ) is a lot to type when you want to let someone know that you thought something was funny. So, on the internet,
people started to use ‘w’ instead, which is just the first letter of ‘wara’.

:beginner: Where did it start? :beginner:

The exact origin of it is unclear, but there are theories that it either started on 「ニコニコ動画 (a Japanese video streaming service)」or on 「なんでも実況J (a board on 2ch/5ch)」. Although it started out with one ‘w’, it eventually evolved into people typing multiple w’s in the chat.

Like this:
p7

Ca you see it? All the w’s together kinda look like grass :seedling:. Now instead of typing multiple Ws or writing (笑), people just write 草, to emphasize that they are wwwwwwww-ing instead of w-ing.

So how do natives on the internet express that something is funnier than ‘LOL’?

:cloud_with_rain: They just grow more grass. :cloud_with_rain:

sprinkler-lawn

This means the next level of funny is 大草原 ‘prairie’ (because prairies have a lot of grass). Although these two are the most basic/common expressions, it does not have to stop here. Some people have gone even further to express that something is REALLY funny by naming a bigger land of vegetation. Although not super common, when something is FUNNY funny, like you are literally laughing in real life, people would get creative and use phrases like 草超えてアマゾン or 草超えてマダガスカル.

Although 草 is still widely used by people, it seems like it might be getting a bit old, and a new word is emerging, which is 竹 :bamboo:.

Starting this month I am going to be writing blog posts like this one, explaining Japanese internet memes and slang. I will try my best to explain the origins of each slang and how it could be used. However, there may be weeks where I would be explaining some key memes/current events that are important to the Japanese internet world. My goal for these are to help everyone understand the whys and hows of Japanese ネットスラング and to teach everyone the internet culture in Japan, which is a bit different compared to the west.

今日の雑学はここまで。こんなくだらんもん読んでないで、残ってるレビューでも終わらせてこい。草

:shorts: Fuga :shorts:

38 Likes

I wasn’t aware of these expressions, lol. That’s next level (草)!

Anyway, thanks for the post! Looking forward to your subsequent entries :blush:.

4 Likes

Always been curious about exactly this. Such an interesting read thank you! I will definitely be following this topic for future updates ^,^

4 Likes

Also interested! Marked as watching.

3 Likes

Love this.

Please definitely teach us some words that will amaze and impress our Japanese tutors, friends, families and make us look super-cool, hip and happening!

As a middle-aged dad, there’s nothing I love more than the looks of admiration from my teenage children when I drop a bit of slang into conversations… ahem

4 Likes

I’m not sure if I can keep up with what is ‘cool’ at the moment, but I will try my best to include slang that is up to date :sweat_smile:

6 Likes

How about words like ちょろい?

1 Like

Also, why is there no NSFW deck? We even have a cool setting for it but nothing lol… could include tame-ish words like むらむら for instance if other things are too much lol (I do have Dirty Japanese! book but I think it’s getting dated by now?)

1 Like

Since I will be covering internet slang for the most part, I may not cover words like チョロい. However, I might cover words that started on the internet and is used normally in the real world!

1 Like

やばい!

1 Like

やばくないよ。逆に最も役に立つの日本語と思う

2 Likes

彼は皮肉のように言ったかも。

3 Likes