What’s in a Name? Love By Any Other Word is Still as Sweet

Source: Gaijin Pot
What's in a Name? Love By Any Other Word is Still as Sweet

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and many of us will likely be thinking about romance. For many Valentine’s Day is the ideal time of the year to consider your relationship. Thankfully, when you want to explain this to your significant other, Japanese is a language full of words for just about every emotional state. Regardless of where you are at or where you might be going, Japanese has a word specifically for it.

When you first set eyes on that beautiful person, you may feel a little bit of the Japanese term 気(き)がある. Although this word is typically used to describe an interest in an activity, it can also connote the romantic meaning of attraction, as in the sentence: “あの女(おんあ)に気があるの?” (“Do you fancy that woman over there?”)

Of course, anyone raised on the lovey-dovey romances of 少女漫画(しょうじょまんが) (girls’ manga) will be familiar with the idea that this first feeling of attraction may very well be 一目惚(ひとめぼ)れ, or love at first sight. For language learners (even the most unromantic ones) the term 一目惚れ is especially interesting as the second part of it includes the relatively uncommon verb 惚(ぽ)れる (here changed to ぼれ to make it easier to say). 惚れる is a verb that describes losing your heart to someone.

Naturally, ほれる is not the only verb that tries to describe the process of falling for someone. One of the more interesting — albeit less romantic — terms for this feeling is 惹(ひ)かれる (to be attracted to), which means to be charmed by somebody. On the internet, you will also sometimes see the other 引(ひ)かれる (to be drawn to) being used in a similar way. As this verb is taken from the verb 引く (to pull something) this creates a vivid image of the way attractive people can “pull” people into their orbit.

While referring to marriage …continue reading