Thursday, November 23, 2017

JK, JC, JS, JD, DK - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, sometimes the letters JK, pronounced jeikei ジェイケイ, show up in the middle of phrases that are otherwise mostly Japanese. What are these two Latin letters doing there? What does JK mean?


The word JK means joshikousei 女子高生, "high school girl," or, sometimes, joshikousei 女子校生, "school girl."

For someone who's not a Japanese native it can be easy to figure out why JK means joshikousei 女子校生. It's because of the romaji: Joshi (J) Kousei (K), JK. However, note that, in Japanese, you don't use the Latin alphabet, you don't write in romaji, you use the Japanese alphabet. So for the average Japanese person the origin of the word would be a lot harder to understand.

To elaborate: there is no way to write J or K in Japanese. The minimum you can write is jo じょ, or even ji じ, and ko こ. With kanji, joshikousei is written as 女子校生. With hiragana, as じょしこうせい. If you recall names of anime that have been abbreviated (Watamote, Oregairu, Oreimo, Konosuba, etc.), you'll notice that there is literally no Japanese abbreviation made only of consonants; they are always made of syllables.

So how come JK is a Japanese word? The answer is simple: internet. To talk on the internet you need a computer. And to type Japanese in a computer you normally use romaji. You type romaji which is converted to hiragana then kanji. So only computer people could have come up with JK. The word is a slang.

Origin of JK

Originally, JK was word used by people looking to date "school girls," joshi kousei 女子校生, in exchanged of compensation ($$$), a practice labelled enjo kousai 援助交際, and yeah, that's kind of a crime. So maybe that's why they chose such a secret code word (JK) the average Japanese citizen wouldn't be able to understand: to avoid suspicion and the police.

However, such people started using the word JK in public internet forums, where users who weren't after school girls browsed by. Obviously, they saw the word they didn't know what meant and asked: "what the fuck does that mean?" Just like you'd ask if you read ROFLMAO for the first time on the internet.

Because of this, the JK criminal slang began being spread in internet forums as just another slang: it was used in place of joshikousei, "high school girl," but it wasn't necessarily used by people looking for compensated dating or prostitution. Its usage continued to spread across the internet, until it finally broke the ultimate barrier and the term JK began being used in the Real World™.

Suddenly, the code word used by old men looking for underage prostitutes was also being used by official organizations trying to look modern by using slangs and advertising stuff to JK's. Magazines were legitimately published with JK on their titles which, obviously, had nothing with criminal activity.

Since everybody uses the word JK as a slang now, it just means "high school girl," and has little to do with its original criminal usage.

In Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan 斉木楠雄のΨ難, there's a chapter where Saiki needs money, and for that he will do anything for 100 using his super-powers. In the panel below, his grandfather realizes he can use this opportunity to spend some time with his grandson, playing ball, going for a walk, etc. tatoeba anna koto ya konna koto mo kanou jato iu koto kaaaaa!? For example something like that or something like this is possibleeeeee!? Boku ga JK dattara daimondai dazo. If I were a high-school girl [this would] be a big problem.


The word JC means joshi chuugakusei 女子中学生, "middle school girl" in Japanese.


The word JS means joshi shougakusei 女子小学生, "elementary school girl" in Japanese.


The word JD means joshi daigakusei 女子大学生, "college girl" in Japanese.

Numbers: jk1, jc3, js2

Sometimes, a number if added after JS, JC, JK, JD. The number represents the school year. For example:
  • JK1
    joshi koukou ichinensei 女子高校1年生
    High school first year girl.
  • JC3
    joshi chuugaku sannensei 女子中学3年生
    Middle school third year girl.
  • JS2
    joshi shougaku ninensei 女子小学2年生
    Elementary school second year girl.

In a way, this is similar to how abbreviated school years work in Japanese.


After breaking through the cyber barrier, JK also ended up breaking through the gender barrier.

The word DK means danshikousei 男子校生, "high school boy" in Japanese.

It's such a rare word you can only figure out what it means when it's next to JK, and it's pretty much only used when JK is used too. (JK and DK = high school girls and boys). For most people, DK means Donkey Kong, not "high school boy."


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