Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oppai おっぱい

In Japanese, oppai おっぱい means "boobs." In some cases, oppai also means "breast milk." It's a slang, and it's usually said to be language used by small children, but the term is used by adults, too.

The word oppai in Japanese, おっぱい, as written in a yellow hoodie worn by Saitama サイタマ, also known as Caped Baldy, a character from the webcomic, manga and anime One Punch Man ワンパンマン

(they actually sell that oppai hoodie, by the way)

Kanji of Oppai

The word oppai does not have kanji. It's sometimes written with hiragana, as おっぱい, and sometimes written with katakana, as オッパイ, but it's not written with kanji. Except in one wordplay case.

Male Oppai

Although oppai is technically gender-neutral, it's vastly used to refer to female breasts, not to male breasts.

Hence the wordplay oppai 雄っぱい, forcibly written with the kanji for "male," osu 雄, is used to refer to male breasts exclusively.

This is the same principle used in the gender-bender term onnanoko 雄んなの子.

Chest, Breast & Nipple Nomenclature

The word oppai is a slang. Here are some Japanese words to say "boobs" that are not slangs.
  • mune
    Breasts. (sometimes.)
    (note: takarabako 宝箱 is a "treasure chest," hako 箱 being "chest" of the container kind.)
  • chibusa 乳房
  • chikubi 乳首
    (written with the kanji for "neck," kubi 首, just like "wrist," tekubi 手首, is written with it and the kanji for "hand," te 手.)
  • chichi
    Breast milk.
    (homonym with chichi 父, "father.")
  • gyuunyuu 牛乳
    Cow milk.
    (ushi 牛 is "cow," and this has nothing to do with human breasts!)
  • bonyuu 母乳
    Mother's milk.

The following terms are a bit more technical:
  • kyoubu 胸部
    Cheat. Thorax.
  • nyuurin 乳輪
  • nyuutou 乳頭
  • kanbatsu nyuutou 陥没乳首
    Inverted nipple. "Sunken teat."

Breast Sizes

Here are some Japanese words related to the breast size.
  • basuto バスト
  • saizu サイズ
  • suriisaizu スリーサイズ
    Bust-hip-waist measurements.
    (by the way, Japan uses "centimeters," senchi センチ.)
  • kappu カップ
  • ei-kappu Aカップ

The following phrases are commonly used to refer to women with small or big chests:
  • mune ga chiisai 胸が小さい
    "The chest is small."
  • mune ga ookii 胸が大きい
    "The chest is big."

Terms for Apparent Breast Sizes

The following terms are used to refer to apparent breast sizes.

Note that they are not precise or accurate in any way, even the cup sizes. And also note that what's considered small or big in Japanese and in the US is probably different.

The following terms refer to small breasts:
  • munyuu 無乳
    "No breasts." (literally, but may be used as an exaggeration.)
    AAA to AA-cup.
  • Shinderera basuto シンデレラバスト
    Cinderella bust.
    AAA to A-cup.
    (not very common.)
  • hin'nyuu 貧乳
    "Poor breasts."
    Small breasts. Tiny breasts.
    B-cup and less.
    (may be offensive.)
  • binyuu 微乳
    Small breasts. "Delicate breasts."
    B-cup or smaller.
    (the less offensive term, finally.)

For a "normal" breast size, it can be called literally "normal," futsuu 普通, or "normal breasts," funyuu 普乳.

The following terms refer to large breasts. These are probably E or F cup or bigger. Again, it's not exact, precise, or accurate at all.
  • kyonyuu 巨乳
    "Giant breasts." (remember the anime? Shingeki no Kyojin 進撃の巨人?)
    Huge breasts. Big breasts.
  • bakunyuu 爆乳
    "Explosive breasts." (♫bakuretsu bakuretsu EXPLOSION!!11♫)
    Enormous breasts.
  • chounyuu 超乳
    "Super breasts." (literally.)

It's assumed that kyonyuu is smaller than bakunyuu which is smaller than chounyuu, but that's about it.

The term manyuu 魔乳 is also used to refer to "large breasts," but it originally meant "witch's milk" instead. (the word for "witch" is majo 魔女).


Sizes according to this article:

Loli Large-Breasts

In English, the term "oppai loli" is used to refer to a loli character with disturbingly over-sized breasts. That's an eisei-wago made up by western anime fans and isn't a term used in Japanese. There, rori kyonyuu ロリ巨乳 is used instead.

Petite & Large-Breasted

There are also terms for characters, and people, who aren't underage, but simple of small stature, and have large breasts that contrast with their size.

One such term is kogara kyonyuu 小柄巨乳, "small-body-size large breasts," which is pretty straightforward in meaning.

Another term is toranjisuta guramaa トランジスタグラマー, literally "Transistor glamour," which is a bit hard to explain. The term "glamour" used to be used toward people with a hourglass cheap, large hips, tiny waist, large breasts. And it was thought tall height was required for a woman to have such "glamour." The term "transistor" was then coined for short women who were meaty enough to met said glamorous expectations.

Bigger Than You Thought

The term kakure kyonyuu 隠れ巨乳, literally "hidden huge breasts," refers to a character, or person, that has large breasts, but because of the clothing they usually wear or are wearing, you can't tell they actually have large breasts until they "remove (their clothes)," nugu 脱ぐ.

This term follow the same pattern as kakure sato 隠れ里, "hidden village," like in Naruto, or kakure ota 隠れオタ, "hidden ota[ku]," a type of otaku that hides, or simply doesn't let show, the fact they're an otaku.


The following are slangs used in situations involving breasts.

Some of the words contain only the pai ぱい part of oppai おっぱい, as the o お is often thought to be a prefix.


A paizuri パイズリ is the act of "boob-rubbing." That is, a "boob-job," the sexual practice, not the surgery kind.

Groping, Feeling or Touching Boobs

The verb momu 揉む means something like "massaging" something which is soft, and is used when talking about "groping" or "feeling" boobs.

The verb washi-dukami 鷲掴み combines the word for the animal "eagle," washi 鷲, with the verb "to seize," tsukamu 掴む, and refers to more forceful groping in which one'd open their hand like an eagle's foot or talons.

The following are tags used in Pixiv concerning the practice:
  • chichimomi 乳揉み
    Boob-groping. (softer version.)
  • chichidukami 乳鷲掴み
    Boob-groping. (harder version.)
  • serufu-chichimomi セルフ乳揉み
    Self boob-groping.
    (see anime movie: Your Name, Kimi no Na Wa 君の名は.)
  • haigo kara munemomi 背後から胸揉み
    haigo kara chichimomi 背後から乳揉み
    ushiro kara chichimomi 後ろから乳揉み
    Chest-groping from behind.
    Boob-groping from behind.
  • ai tacchi πタッチ
    pai tacchi パイタッチ

Nipple Censorship

In Japanese, the slangs seefu セーフ and auto アウト, literally "safe" and "out" respectively, probably coming from baseball terms, refer to when something is within the rules or outside the rules, whether or not it has crossed a line, and it's sometimes used in respect to censorship in TV, manga, etc.

When this comes to boobs, everything is seefu, except for the nipples for some bizarre reason, so they are sometimes auto. Here's a summary of nipple censorship in manga for aimed for children and general audiences:
  • Male nipples.
    seefu セーフ
  • Female nipples.
    auto アウト
  • Hideyoshi nipples.
    auto アウト

The term NG is synonymous with auto in this aspect.

Anyway, because of this, TV and magazines have to avoid showing certain nipples with some creative bra replacements, while at the same time coming up with ways to show tits or emphasize their sexiness without crossing the seefu-auto line. These things have developed into tropes, and there are terms for them.

Girigiri Seefu ギリギリセーフ

A "barely safe," girigiri seefu ギリギリセーフ, situation would be the so-called rinchira 輪チラ, which is when you get a glimpse of the "areola," nyuurin 乳輪, so you can know that nipples do exist. However, since not even half of the nipple is shown, it's not auto, so it's seefu, probably.

This term is related to panchira パンチラ, which is a "glimpse of panties."

Necktie on Boobs

A nekupai ネクパイ is when a character has a "necktie," nekutai ネクタイ, which lands in the very middle of their boobs, oppai.

Cleavage Window

A tanima hooru 谷間ホール, literally "cleavage hole," sometimes called "cleavage window" in English, is when a character's clothes are in such way that it leaves a hole open over their breasts, showing their cleavage. This can happen in a number of ways, including:
  • The design of the clothing had a hole right from the start.
  • Because of big breasts, the character unbuttons part of their clothes, creating the hole.
  • The clothes are too small and the button bursts out.
  • The clothing is ripped for some reason.


Boob Bag

A chichi bukuro 乳袋 refers to "boob bag" found in the design of anime character clothes who have boobs. Essentially, instead of the clothing being deformed by the boobs, in a curve shape, like a D, they just seem to be created with a compartment for form-fitting the boobs perfectly, like a P.

Boob Tent & Boob Curtain

Although not as common, the complementary terms chichi-tento 乳テント, "boob tent," and chichi-kaaten 乳カーテン, "boob curtain," refer to when clothes are stretched vertically by boobs forming a tent, and when the cloth is left hanging in front of the stomach like a curtain, respectively.

Underboob, Sideboob, Overboob

The terms shitachichi 下乳 and shitapai 下パイ mean "underboob" in Japanese, which is when only the bottom part of the breast is visible, and the nipple and above are hidden somehow or clothed.

The terms yokochichi 横乳 and yokopai 横パイ mean "sideboob" in Japanese, which is when only the left or right side of the breast is visible, and the nipple and beyond are hidden somehow or clothed.

The terms uechichi 上乳 and uepai 上パイ mean "overboob" in Japanese, which is when only the top part of the breast is visible, and the nipple and below are hidden somehow or clothed. Since this case is particularly trivial these terms aren't used as often.

No Bra

The term noo-bura ノーブラ, literally "no bra," is when a character is, well, literally not wearing a bra. However, they're wearing some sort of top or depicted in a way that shows underbood, sideboob, etc. so you know they're not wearing a bra.

This term isn't used refer to bare breasts or nipples showing, etc. Although it may be used when they're almost shown, the point is in knowing the fact the character isn't wearing a bra right now and is probably not going to be a bra for a while after until they change clothes or something. (for why this is important, just go watch Your Name already!)

The term noopan ノーパン refers to a "no panties" situation.

Hand Bra

A te-bura 手ブラ is when a character covers their breasts with their "hands," te 手, as if they were their "bra," bura ブラ. This often happens when the character is in the unfamous beach episode and their top is washed away, or it's that unfamous barging-into-changing-room scene, or bath scene, or hot springs scene. Anyway, they cover their boobs.

Also hands being handy as they are, it doesn't really matter their exact position covering the boobs. Common patterns include:
  • Left hand on left boob, right hand on right boob.
    The most simple, but most unnatural one.
  • The opposite: right on left, left on right. A cross.
    Ironically the most natural one.
  • Single-arm: palm over one boob, forearm covering the other.
    The other arm tries to grab the bra back or something.

Hair Bra

A kami-bura 髪ブラ is when a character somehow covers their breasts with their "hair," kami 髪. This, obviously, only happens if the character has long hair. It would be an incredible feat for a short-haired girl to achieve.

It's a well known fact that in anime when a character boobs are exposed and they're not covering with their hands their hair has a tendency to hurry to the spot and cover their shame. Since physics-ally there's no reason for hair to land exactly over the nipples every single time, we can only concur that anime hair is actually instinctively attracted to boobs. There's some chemistry going on in which nipples create some sort of magnetism that causes hair to always land upon them.

Nature is fascinating,

One Boob Visible

When a character has one entire boob visible but not the other, the term is hen'nyuu 片乳, written with the kanji for the word "one-side-of-two," kata 片.

Obviously, this isn't seefu, this is auto, completely auto, like, only maybe Gunbuster can pull this off and stay seefu, unless we're talking about a guy, then it's another story. After all, guys' nipples are seefu.

Priding Tits

The term doyachichi どや乳, from the verb doyaru ドヤる, "to look proud or satisfied" with something, to feel triumphant, is when a character seems to be rather proud of their assets by making provocative poses that emphasize their breasts.


It's unclear where exactly the word oppai came from. There are many theories, two of which are:
  1. It came from wowo umai ををうまい. The wowo part I'm not sure what it means, but umai means "tasty," implying it's probably about breast milk.
  2. It came from onaka-ippai お腹一杯, "stomach full," which also implies it's about breast milk.

Reference: おっぱい -

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