Dajare

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Dajare (駄洒落?, だじゃれ literally wordplay) is a kind of comic Japanese word play, similar in spirit to pun relying on similarities in the pronunciation of words to create a simple joke.

Dajare are popular in advertising. Dajare are also associated with oyaji gags (親父ギャグ oyaji gyagu?), oyaji meaning "old man", as an "old man" would be considered by the younger generation most likely to attempt dajare.

Famous examples[edit]

  • アルミ缶の上にあるみかん (arumi kan no ue ni aru mikan)
    Translation
    A tangerine on an aluminum can.
    Explanation
    アルミ(arumi) means "aluminium", 缶(kan) means "a can", so "arumi kan" means "an aluminium can". Also ある(aru) means "exists" and みかん(mikan) means "a tangerine (mandarin orange)".
  • ウランは売らん (uran wa uran)
    Translation
    I never sell uranium.
    Explanation
    ウラン(uran) means uranium, and the second 売らん(uran) means "never sell".
  • ニューヨークで入浴 (nyūyōku de nyūyoku)
    Translation
    Taking a bath in New York.
    Explanation
    ニューヨーク(nyūyōku) means New York, 入浴(nyūyoku) means taking a bath.
  • レモンの入れもん (remon no iremon)
    Translation
    A container for a lemon
    Explanation
    レモン(remon) means "a lemon", 入れもん(iremon) means "a container".

Examples of dajare[edit]

Example one:
A: 大食いのたけし君も、宇宙ではあまり物を食べられないよ。 (ōgui no takeshi kun mo, uchū dewa amari mono o taberarenaiyo)
B: なぜ? (naze)
A: 宇宙には空気(食う気)がない。 (uchū niwa kūki ga nai)
Translation:
A: In space, even a glutton like Takeshi can't eat anything.
B: Why's that?
A: In space, he has no appetite.
Explanation:
Kūki (くうき) can mean either "air" (空気) or "will to eat" (食う気), thus what sounds like a perfectly reasonable statement – "in space there is no air" – takes on a much stronger meaning when said in context.

Example two:
A: 向こうの通りにヘイができたんだってね。(mukou no tōri ni hei ga dekitan datte ne)
B: へぇー。(hee...)
Translation:
A: I hear they finished the wall on the street over there.
B: Well!

Explanation:
The word for "fence" or "wall" here (塀, hei) sounds very similar to the Japanese interjection hee (へえ, similar in usage to the phrases "oh yeah?" and "well!"), thus the answer sounds like a repeat of the information in the initial statement.

Another version of this same joke replaces hei with kakoi (囲い), which sounds similar to a word meaning something like "cool" or "looks good" (かっこいい).

Kids' dajare[edit]

There are also some jokes mostly used by children that resemble dajare. These are also considered jokes that "everybody knows" in most parts of Japan. These are examples of ginatayomi (ぎなた読み), which relies on ambiguity in where one word ends and another begins.

Example one:
A: パンつくった事ある? (pan tsukutta koto aru?)
Translation:
A: Have you ever made bread before?
Can also be interpreted as:
A: Have you ever eaten underpants before? (パンツ食った事ある?, pantsu kutta koto aru?)

Example two:
A: ねぇ、ちゃんとお風呂入ってる? (nee, chanto ofuro haitteru?)
Translation:
A: Hey, have you been taking a bath (regularly)?
Can also be interpreted as:
A: Do you take baths with your (older) sister? (姉ちゃんとお風呂入ってる?, nee-chan to ofuro haitteru?; the casual nee combined with the adverb chanto sounds the same as nee-chan to meaning "with your (older) sister".)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]