“Onara” first person pronoun – followup

By | April 2, 2015

In my last post here I talked about a modern first person pronoun in Japanese, “onara”.

In the beginning of the post I alluded to the fact it was the first of the month, but in fact it was the first of April, which happens to be “April Fools Day” in America (I’m not sure if this is celebrated in any other countries).

In case you aren’t familiar with April Fools Day, it is a tradition to play pranks on that day to fool people. At some point you are supposed to reveal your naughty intentions by saying “April Fools Day!” and letting the other person know about the ruse.

So it’s about time for me to do the same – APRIL FOOLS DAY!

The reason being is that the post I just alluded to about the term “onara” was completely fictional. While it is true that Japanese has many first person pronouns, the word “onara” is definitely not one of them, though it sounds one since the below are all valid pronouns meaning “I”:

  • ore
  • ora
  • orya (meaning “ore wa”)
  • oira

The joke was a little more involved, since “onara” is actually a word that is still used in Japanese, though the talk about the origin of “onara” (related to “sayonara”, etc.) was completely fictitious.

It means…. it’s a bit embarrassing to say this…. “gas” as in the type that people pass.

Furthermore, the expression ”onara deta” is actually correct Japanese, except that rather meaning “I’m here!” it means… something else has “appeared” on the scene (:

I got a few comments from people so it looks like I managed to fool a few of you. I hope you don’t take it the wrong way – it’s just that I have been wanting to write a “serious” April Fool’s post for some time after getting a good laugh out of fake news stories I read on April 1 in the past.

Thanks to those of you who posted a serious comment about this article. In the sake of good sport I’ll leave those unapproved (:

From this point on I’ll be going back to serious posts, so no fear for the short term. But on April 1 2016, be ready for anything!

(Visited 152 times, 2 visits today)

3 thoughts on ““Onara” first person pronoun – followup

    1. locksleyu Post author

      I tried to pick a word that has an interesting meaning, but it is not commonly used in places like TV shows and manga (:

  1. Confanity

    Cute. Evil. And a little overly coy? If you skip the euphemisms and just say it’s a fart, then you can nerd out about how the term was invented by young aristocratic women amusing themselves in the good old days. 8^)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *