And Japan’s Buzzword of 2016 is kamitteru!
Every year, Jiyukokuminsha publishing house, known for its annual book of slang, hold a buzzwords competition capturing social, political and entertainment trends of the year. The winning word or phrase is chosen by a selection jury from the shortlist drawn up by the publisher. And 2016’s grand prize word, kamitteru, was inspired by a great baseball performance!
Used among teens, the phrase means to receive the spirit of the gods, characterizing superhuman or miraculous behavior. This is a slang based on the Japanese word for god, 神, to which a suffix was added, turning the word into a verb in the present progressive tense.
The word was linked with the Hiroshima Carp’s heroic victory in the Central League championship, during which the player Seiya Suzuki demonstrated God-like skills. The manager of his baseball team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, used 神ってる to describe his performance in June. He said to have picked up the word from his kids.
Among the other finalists for 2016, you’ll find PPAP (the acronym for Piko Taro’s viral hit Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen), Pokemon Go, reflecting the Nintendo successful game that took the world by storm, and トランプ現象 (The Trump phenomenon).