Sunday Soundcheck 38

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The third sound in the N column is nu, we write it in hiragana as ぬ and katakana as ヌ.

Nuku (ぬく・抜く) is a verb which is quite useful. It can mean ‘pull’; as in “a cork from a bottle”, “a tooth from a jaw”, or “feathers from a bird”. It can mean ‘draw’; as in “a sidearm from a holster”, or “a sword from a sheath”. Also, “hit a gapper”, “pull away in a race”, “ace a test”, “leave someone out”, “overtake another vehicle”, “let air out of a tire”, and “take away the excess or leavings” are all possibilities for this word; however, my favorite is cooking related.

When cooking something like bamboo shoots, which have lye in them, they are boiled in water with rice husks. This process draws the lye out. We can use nuku to describe this.

There are only a couple choices for katakana words this week, so I’m going with nuudo (ヌード), which is just the English word ‘nude’. I don’t know if this word can fit into daily conversation but it comes up at photo society meetings a lot. Everyone jokes about having a nude photoshoot, but it is mostly just talk. I have enough trouble taking good photos of people with their clothes on, I don’t think I need to be trying to make art with naked models.

Bonus words this week: nurenezumi (ぬれねずみ・濡れ鼠) is when you are totally soaked like a ‘drowned rat’, and – for the anime fans out there – nukunukuto (ぬくぬくと) is ‘snugly’ as in ‘snug’, not ‘snuggly’.

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