“っぽい” (ppoi): a slang way to express similarity or the tendency to do something

By | April 3, 2014

“っぽい” is a very useful expression that has three main usages.

Expressing the tendency to do something

っぽい can be used to express the tendency or high chance of doing something, and is generally added to the end of a verb in the pre-masu form. Though you can try using it with any verb, initially you should stick to using some of the common set phrases which I’ll mention here.

  • 滑りっぽい: slippery
  • 飽きっぽい: gets tired of something easy / short attention span. (There is a similar expression “三日坊主” which has a similar meaning)
  • 怒りっぽい: gets mad easily / short temper

This usage is verb similar to the suffix ~がち.

Expressing that a great amount of something is present

This usage is employed when a substance contains a great deal of another substance. Here are a two common examples:

  • 水っぽい: watery
  • 油っぽい: oily / greasy
  • 色っぽい: sexy / alluring

Expressing similarity to something

っぽい can also be used to express similarity or likeness to something. This usage is really an extension of the first two, and was adopted relatively recently.

This usage is quite similar to ~みたい and ~らしい.

  • 子供っぽい: childlike
  • あなたっぽい: like you
  • それっぽい: like that
  • 黒っぽい: blackish (color)

Here is a full example sentence to see this used in context:

  • 彼の漫画はプロの漫画家っぽくてびっくりした!
  • I was surprised his manga was so much like a pros (lit: “His manga was like a pro’s and I was surprised)

As you can see in this example, っぽい is an adjective and should be conjugated like one as needed (っぽい/っぽくて/っぽかった etc.).

Just be sure to keep in mind that this is more of a slang expression. You aren’t like to see this used frequently in formal documents or speech.

References

http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/je2/50350/m0u/っぽい/

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