Sunday Soundcheck 46


On our second pass down the ‘H’ column we’ll add an accent mark to change the leading sound from ‘h’ to ‘b’. As usual Japanese people don’t move their lips nearly as much as an American would to make these sounds, so it is not so dramatic. We write this sound in hiragana as ば and in katakana as バ

Baakoodohea (バーコードヘア) is a word I’m sure I wrote about before, but can’t find it in my archives. Japanese people love to use English words; occasionally they will have the same meaning; often they’ll have different meaning; and sometimes they will be an odd combination of words, yet turn out to be so fitting and easy to understand. Upon hearing this phrase once, I could understand the meaning exactly (although it is not polite). Today’s katakana entry is merely ‘barcode hair’ and supplants our term of ‘the combover’. Unfortunately, the first time I heard this was in front of someone who was a classic example and I almost gagged.

Bassari (ばっさり) is a term meaning to chop away at something, such as a tree branch. My princess sent a message telling me her hair was too long and it was time for a cut. Worrying that her beautiful locks would become a bob, I sent an inquiry back. She reassured me she had no plan to hack it away like that. そんなにばっさりと切らない。

In honor of my plans for next Spring, here’s a bonus word today: bankon (ばんこん・晩婚). When we write it in kanji, the characters are ‘evening’ and ‘wed’; the word means ‘marriage late in life’.


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