I pick up catch-phrases from various places.

One is “Shimasu!”, which I use as a kind of Japanese expletive, when struggling to wake up in the morning, or when exerting myself in some extraordinary way.

shimasu.mp3 (MP3 format; 2 seconds; 9Kb)

Said the right way, it sounds like something they might have said on one of those old Japanese torture shows that Clive James used to show clips of, with contestants getting crabs shoved down their trousers or having boiling water run over their tongues or whatever.

Actually it apparently means “to do” in Japanese, but I got it from Dick Smith Electronics — it’s their made-up brandname that they used to give to things to make them sound like they came from Japan.

I suppose almost any word can sound like a Japanese expletive when you say it the right way. Tomato!

tomato.mp3 (MP3 format; 1 second; 6Kb)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Shimasu!”

LOL! How about “origato!” said in a angry tone. Or “Hi-YA!” in an angry tone. ROFL, too funny. Great post.

Now, “Sayonara” just sounds too slow to be an expletive, don’t you think?

Reminds me when I had to ask some Japanese friends of my wife if they wanted tomato with their lunch, they couldn’t understand the word “tomato” when I said it like an Aussie. But they did when I put a heavy “Japanese accent” on the word. They nodded and smiled as they understood.
PS I’ve regretted every item I’ve bought from Dick Smith – I never shop there now.

Once went to see Jimeoin in a comedy show and the bloke doing the act prior to him had this one thing that has always stuck in my head. He said “One morning i woke up and wondered how it would be to say the word ‘vegetables’ with a Japanese accent. What ensued was hilarious and we were absolutely rolling in the aisles.

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