Saturday, February 17, 2018

onabe お鍋, オナベ, nabe 鍋 (Stew, Pot, LGBT-Related Slang)

In Japanese, onabe お鍋 means multiple things. It's a sort of "cooking pot" used to make stew, a "saucepan." it's also called nabe , without the o~ お~ prefix. It can also mean "stew," which is cooked in the pot. When spelled with katakana, onabe オナベ is a LGBT-related slang for masculine women, lesbians and trans men, sometimes considered pejorative.

Example of shiitake しいたけ mushrooms with "decorative cuts," kazarigiri 飾り切り.
Anime: Mawaru Penguindrum, 輪るピングドラム (Episode 21)

Stew Pot

Normally, onabe オナベ refers to a stew pot, or to stew, which is cooked in a stew pot. In anime, basically every time there's a gathering around a table with food there will be an onabe pot somewhere.

Example of nomikai 飲み会.
Anime: New Game! (Episode 2)

By the way, the brown things with stars in a stew are shiitake 椎茸 mushrooms with decorative cuts.

A food anime gif. Example of shiitake しいたけ mushrooms with "decorative cuts," kazarigiri 飾り切り, in sukiyaki すき焼き.
Anime: Amagi Brilliant Park, 甘城ブリリアントパーク (Episode 9)

The star-shaped sparkling eyes you often see in anime are named after them.

Doma Umaru 土間うまる, example of me ga shiitake 目がしいたけ, "the eyes are shiitake mushrooms." The second image is altered with real mushrooms.
Anime: Himouto! Umaru-chan 干物妹!うまるちゃん (Episode 2)
  • Context: *sparkling*
  • shiitake-me
    Shiitake eyes.

Lesbian, Trans Man

The word onabe オナベ is also a way to refer to masculine women, lesbians, trans men, i.e. it's like "butch" in English. It's the counterpart for okama オカマ, which is used toward feminine men.

An okama お釜 is a another type of cooking pot, an iron pot, a cauldron. The term nabe-kama 鍋釜 refers to both types of pots together. Presumably, onabe was created as a counterpart for okama from this "pot" homonym.

Hachirou 八郎, formerly Hanako 花子, example of trans male character.
Character: Hachirou 八郎
Anime: Gintama 銀魂 (Episode 54)
  • Context: Hachirou, formerly Hanako 花子, is a post-op trans man who works in a host club.

There are fewer characters said to be onabe characters compared to okama. Some of them are:

  • Yagyuu Kyuubei 柳生九兵衛, from Gintama 銀魂.
  • Oscar François de Jarjeyes, オスカル・フランソワ・ド・ジャルジェ, from Rose of The Versailles, Versailles no Bara ベルサイユのばら.
  • Tenjou Utena 天上ウテナ, from Revolutionary Girl Utena, Shoujo Kakumei Utena 少女革命ウテナ.

See the article about okama for details.

Online Onabe

A girl that plays a male character in an online game is called a nenabe ネナベ, short for "internet onabe." It's the counterpart of nekama ネカマ.

Morioka Moriko 盛岡森子 and her male online avatar, Hayashi 林.
Left: Morioka Moriko 盛岡森子
Right: Hayashi
Anime: Net-juu no Susume, ネト充のススメ (Episodes 3, 2)
  • Context: Moriko and her male avatar, Hayashi.

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