Monday, March 5, 2018

Daku, Idaku 抱く

The word daku 抱く, you know, the one in dakimakura 抱き枕, usually means "to embrace" or "to hug." But given that daku has a couple of other meanings, too, I decided to make a post about it.

First off, the most important one, is that daku 抱く also means "to have sex with." How daku went from "to hug" to "to have sex" I'll leave to your imagination, but the point is that the verb can become a double-entendre in manga and anime.

Usage of daku 抱く in Japanese as seen i nthe manga Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん

In the cases above, the passive phrase ~ni dakareru ~に抱かれる would mean "to be hugged by~." Often, the verb dakishimeru 抱き締める, "to hug tightly," is used.

But the other meanings of daku don't stop there! There's another one!

The verb daku also means for a chicken "to sit on" eggs. A chicken, being, well, a chicken, would have a bit of trouble hugging eggs, so I can guess the closest thing to a hug chickens can give is sitting on them. (the term also applies for other birds.)

Idaku 抱く

So far we've been talking about daku 抱く, but that can also be read as idaku 抱く. A different word written with the same kanji, having a slightly different meaning.

The word idaku can mean "to hug" too, just like daku. However, idaku doesn't mean "to have sex with" or "to sit on" eggs, those meanings are exclusive to daku.

On the other side, idaku has a meaning daku doesn't have: the verb idaku can mean something like "to embrace" an idea instead of a physical thing.

For example, someone can "embrace doubt," gimon wo idaku 疑問を抱く, meaning they're having misgivings about something. You can "embrace a feeling," kanjou wo idaku 感情を抱く, meaning you start feeling it. And of course, you can "embrace hope," kibou wo idaku 希望を抱く. Sometimes, this idaku can also be translated as "to cherish" if the idea is more tangible.


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  1. does it mean "daku" not a good word to use in Japanese language?

    how often Japanese people use the word "daku"? Are they laugh if someone say the word?

    Thank you.

    1. It's a normal word that means "to embrace." It's just that, sometimes, it means something else.