Japanese slang term: “mazogee” (マゾゲー)

By | December 12, 2018

Japanese has the interesting characteristic of not just having a lot of loanwords from other languages, but also liberally using these words to create either new English-like words (和製英語), or words that are combination of one or more English words and Japanese words.

The word I’d like to highlight this time, mazogee (written マゾゲー in katakana) is comprised of a combination of two English words, each shortened in the typical Japanese style.

The first of these, mazo (マゾ), comes from the word “masochist” or “masochistic”, although whereas in English those words can refer to someone who receives sexual gratification from hurting oneself, in Japanese mazo feels a little less serious and can be used in a more lighter sense without actually referring to anything sexual (although, come to think of it, some people do use “masochist” in the same way in English). This word can be used on it’s own to describe someone’s behavior. The word’s counterpart, sado (サド), is used in a similar way to describe enjoying hurting others (not necessarily in a physical sense).

The second word, gee (ゲー), is a shortening of the word geemu (ゲーム) which comes from the English word “game” (think sports game, computer game, etc.) . While geemu can be used by itself, gee cannot.

If we put these together we get mazogee, which refers to a game that is extremely difficult (perhaps to an unfair degree). Here is a detailed description of the word in Japanese.

I don’t hear this word too often, but stumbled upon it when I was reading about one of my favorite game series, XCOM. I agree, without a doubt, this game can be so difficult it is best for those who enjoy “punishment” (:

By the way, this is not the only word that comes from two shortened versions of English words. Another one (much more common) is pasokon (パソコン)that comes from the words “personal” and “computer”. A third one that comes to mind is wanseg (ワンセグ ) that comes from the words “one” and “segment”, and refers to a type of broadcast service.

 

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