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Tweet of the Week #35: Cats, Cats Everywhere

Learn how to use っけ to end a sentence when can’t seem to recall something — all thanks to this week's cat-tastic tweets!

By 3 min read

Not a single day goes by without Japanese cat owners parading their furry companions on Twitter and, well, we love it. With more than 9,526,000 pet cats registered in 2017, it’s safe to assume that Japan is absolutely mad about cats.

Let’s take a minute to learn the etymology of the Japanese word for cat, ねこ. The old word for “neko” is “nekoma,” which combines the onomatopoeia for the sound cats make, にゃ and こま meaning “four-legged animal.”

The left radical of the kanji is easy peasy to remember. means beast and is also associated with dogs. The right part, however, requires a little bit more insight since has nothing to do with our feline friends but actually means “seedling” or “sapling.”

First, we already know that Kanji are of Chinese origin. Second, in China, cats go “miao” or “mao.” ’s Chinese reading is みょう. So if you haven’t guessed by now, , in China, means the “beast that makes a meow sound.” Add that to your list of fun facts to break out at a party!

Surprise!

When you hear a noise coming from inside your walls, you’d expect it to be a rat or mouse snuggling in your insulation waiting until the cover of night to hunt for leftover cheese.

When @d_e_heffun heard something coming from behind the wall, he bravely took it upon himself to investigate and made quite a surprising discovery!

うそみたいな本当ほんとうはなし
ネットじょうでしかたことのい話だが、、

まさかかべなかからこんなものてこようとは…。

ちなみに昨日きのう夜中よなかです。

Sounds like a fake “true story,” like the ones you read on the internet but never see in real life. I can’t believe this kind of thing would appear from the walls of our house. By the way, it happened last night.

Say again?

The suffix っけ is a simple expression you should have in your Nihongo bank to help you hold natural and casual conversations in Japanese. Simply put, っけ comes in to end a sentence when you’re asking about something you’re supposed to know, but can’t seem to recall.

っけ often ends a question you’re asking yourself, but it can also be used casually when addressing other people and asking them to confirm the information.

Most of the time, っけ is used with (a casual form of the copula です) and the past form.

  • 何でしたっけ。= What was it again?
  • 何時なんじだっけ。= What time was it again?
  • これでいいんだっけ。= Is it ok like this?
  • 納豆なっとうきだっけ?= Do you like natto?

Otsukaresama desu! You studied hard today. Just for giggles here’s a selection of recent hilarious kitty tweets to brighten up your Saturday.

Catception

おわかりいただけただろうか = Got it?

Taskenyaaaa!!

どうしてそうなったのw = How did that happen?! LOL

Evry damn tiem!

なにかとおもったら自分じぶんみみだった = Was wondering what this was when I realized it’s my ears.

Dat salaryman pose tho

終電しゅうでんれなかったサラリーマン = Salaryman who missed the last train

Cat or cow?

ねこてきた = A cat appeared

Not a fan of fluffy neko-chan? Here’s a super cute Shiba Inu instead.

どのセーブデータだっけ = Which save file was it again?

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
うそ uso lie
みたい mitai like (looks like, is similar to)
本当ほんとう hontou real
はなし hanashi story
ネットじょう
netto jyou de on the internet
しか shika only
miru see
まさか masaka no way!
wagayano our home, one’s home
かべなかから kabe no naka kara from inside the wall
ちなみに chinami ni by the way
昨日きのう kinou yesterday
おわかりいただけただろうか o wakari itadaketa darouka Got it?/Did you understand?
どうしてそうなったの doushite sou natta no How did that happen?
w LOL Japanese text speak for laughter, LOL
おも omou to think
自分じぶん jibun no one’s own
みみ mimi ear
定時ていじ teiji on time
帰宅きたく kitaku come back home
サラリーマン sarariiman “salaryman”, businessman
終電しゅうでん shuuden last train (of the day)
れる noreru to board (the train)
deru come out
どの dono which
セーブデータ seebu deeta saved data

For more on learning Japanese

See a funny Japanese tweet that could be awesome for Tweet of the Week? Retweet it and tag us @gaijinpot!

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