Thursday, July 23, 2009
a "skosh" intriguing
In Japanese many foreign "loanwords" have been adopted and adapted into the Japanese lexicon, known as Gairaigo (外来語). You have come across them, and they are usually written phonetically in katakana, like:
Well, this interesting tidbit just came through my inbox today. An inversion that I wasn't aware of:
The Word of the Day for July 23 is:
skosh \SKOHSH\ noun
: a small amount : bit, smidgen
The barista sprinkled a skosh of fresh ginger onto the milky surface of the latte.
Did you know?
The word "skosh" comes from the Japanese word "sukoshi," which is pronounced "skoh shee" and means "a tiny bit" or "a small amount." The Japanese word was shortened by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan after World War II. Later, in the Korean War, a small soldier was often nicknamed "Skosh." In civilian-speak, "skosh" can be used as a noun (as in our example sentence) or adverbially (as in "I'm a skosh tired").
So I'm going to try to use this however I can. Might make me sound a little Commonwealth, but perhaps it is worth the risk
And what is the most recognized foreign loanword in the Japanese language today? Guess!
Does this all mean a breaking down of cultural barriers and differences, for better or worse? Some don't think necessarily so.