Japanese Slang: ガチ (Gachi)
When you are learning a foreign language, studying slangs is a nice and fun way to deepen your vocabulary. Not only will you speak more fluently but you will sound more like a native speaker. Moreover, slang gives you an interesting point of view on society. Let’s learn more about Japanese slang with the word “gachi”, “gachi de”.
A Sumo Match…?
Have you ever seen a sumo match? It is really impressive. When the rikishi (sumo wrestlers) rush into the fight, it is usually over in a second but not without a noise! On the contrary the violent clash of sumo wrestlers echoes in the arena… The Japanese onomatopoeia for that sound is “gatsun” (“crash”, “thump”).
Well, it is said that “gatsun” is the etymology for the word “gachinko” which originally meant a “serious match”, “a heated battle”, “a violent collision”. But from the second half of 2000s, young Japanese people started to use “gachi” and “gachide” in conversation like “super” and “serious”. Gachi is the short form of gachinko and is used as a prefix, often with the particle 「で」”de”.
Gachi comes to reinforce your opinion of something or to highlight a critical situation and has gained popularity among Japanese teenagers. In particular, it replaced the colloquial word maji which means “in earnest” and “seriously”.
Rei: Kono owarai konbi, gachi de omoshiroi!
Example: This comedy duo is super fun!
Rei: Daigaku no gakushoku no katsukarē tte, gachi de tsurai yo ne.
Example: The cutlet curry of our University’s cafeteria is seriously spicy!
Rei: Koko no o-ten no tanuki udon, gachi de shikotteru na.
Example: This shop’s tanu gyudon are super tasteful!
If one of your Japanese friend says that he is “on a gachi diet”, it means he is “seriously doing a diet” and “having a gachi match” means “having a battle seriously”. Of course, you should use gachi and gachi de only during conversation with your friends and people you know well.
In Colloquial Conversations
Kaiwa 1) Wakai dansei doushi no kaiwa.
A：Ima nan ji?
A：Uwa, yabee＊! Isoganee＊＊ to gachi de okureru!
B：Nani? Korekara nani ga aruno?
A：Kanojo to deeto! Konoaida chikoku shitara, gachi de kirerareta. Wakai dansei doushi no kaiwa.
Conversation 1) [Conversation between young men]
A: What time is it now?
B: 3 o’clock.
A: Yikes, it’s bad! I gotta run, otherwise I’ll be seriously late!
B: What? You’ve got an appointment or something?
A: Got a date with my girlfriend! The last time when I was late, she got super angry.
Kaiwa 2) Koibito doushi no kaiwa.
Josei：Mou, osoi yo! Gachi de. Honto kanben shiteyo.
Dansei：Honto ni gomen!! Kyou wa yakiniku ogoru kara sa.
Conversation 2) [Conversation between lovers]
Man: Sorry, I’m late!
Woman: Yep, you’re super late! I can’t take it any more.
Man: My apologies, really! Tonight’s barbecue is on me.
Woman: It better be!
Another Japanese slang word used to define someone cancelling last minute on you is “dotakyan”! Find out more here!
Credit CC BY 2.0: Nakatani YOshifumi
Title: Wrestler of sumo wrestling 相撲
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