|RANT 'N' RAVE
Pet name problem
A few weeks I got on the topic of
"terms of endearment" with a student - you know, those cute little names people
call each other. Well, she advised me that Japan didn't have any equivalent to
"honey," "sweetie," "darling," etc. After grilling her about
it for a while, she still said, "No, they don't exist." So, I just decided to
ask a few other Japanese people. They all said, "No, there's nothing." When I
asked one man what he called his wife, he told me "Oide." ("Come
So, the problem is this: It's getting near the end of my contract and I have to decide if
I am staying in Japan. I don't know. Can I live in a "no honey" country? It
seems all other considerations such as my salary, friendships I have formed and culture
have gone out the window, and I don't know if I can spend another year in a country where
there's no "love chicken," "pumpkin pie," "pudding pop," or
"shnookums." Of course, I would never stoop so low as to use any of those
annoying names, but I just feel better knowing that they're around, you know? They are one
of the uncomfortable comforts of home.
I guess I can't believe that you could live 20 years with someone and not once on
Valentine's Day be tempted to utter a little something special. So as a service to the
People of Japan, I am going to create a few terms of endearment myself. Watashi no koi:
Koi is short for koibito which means lover. Of course koi by itself is a river fish
sometimes found swimming in dirty water, but it's a start. Watashi no ninjin:
Ninjin means carrot. No explanation, that's the only vegetable I know how to say in
Japanese. Watashi no hana: Hana means flower and is a perfect name to use with
your wife. However, if your wife suspects you of having an affair with a woman named Hana,
then that's a whole other issue. Plus, another definition of hana is nose, so that may be
a little strange.
Well, there you have it. Now, if I could only spread the use of these three little
expressions, I might be able stay in this fine country after all.
Many thanks to Juniour Diva for this Rant.