Friday, March 22, 2019

kusa 草 - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, kusa means "grass" or "weed," but it's also a Japanese internet slang for "lol," used when you're laughing at something, at someone's joke, for example, or at someone doing something stupid, and so on.

たけし 草生えるwwwww お姫様 おじさん顔真っ赤
Anime: Uncle from Another World, Isekai Ojisan 異世界おじさん (Episode 1)


The reason why kusa 草 means "lol" is because of another internet slang: wwww at the end of phrases, which also means "lol," or bursting out laughing. In manga and anime, typically this would show up used by trolls mocking people for all sorts of things

  • Context: someone is weak, trolls troll:
  • yowa wwww
    [Wow, he] is [so] weak, lolololololol.

These w's placed horizontally side by side take a form that resembles grass blades, so kusa is a sort of visual pun on that.(コトワカ:「草生える」とは?)



Some ways kusa is used:

  • yowa-sugite kusa ga haeru
    Because [he] is so weak, grass grows. (literally.)
    Because [he] is so weak, wwww.
    Because [he] is so weak, I laugh.
    lol [he] is so weak.
  • yowa-sugite kusa-haeru
    (same meaning.)
  • yowa-sugite kusa
    (also same meaning.)
  • yowa-sugite kusa w
    (same meaning, too.)

The pattern above is the te-form of a predicate (above, a verb) followed by kusa ga haeru. For an i-adjective that would be ~kute ~くて, while for other adjective types it would be de.

  • baka de kusa w
    lol [he] is stupid.
たけし 草生えるwwwww お姫様 おじさん顔真っ赤
Anime: Uncle from Another World, Isekai Ojisan 異世界おじさん (Episode 1)
  • Context: an uncle from another world reads comments on his Youtube video.
  • Takeshi
    (username, male given name.)
  • kusa-haeru wwwww
    Grass grows wwwww.
  • Ohimesama
  • ojisan kao makka
    [Old man]''s face is red.


The word sougen 草原 means a "grassy field," since laughs in internet comments look like grass, a "grassy field" may refer to there being a lot of laughs.(日本語表現辞典:大草原不可避)


The word daisougen 大草原 means literally "great grassy field," which in internet slang would mean there's a lot of people laughing at something or someone.

That would be great, right? Everyone having fun. Except these "laughs" are typically not "laughing with you," they are "laughing at you," so there being a daisougen means you did something so stupid that commenters on your post or online stream are all laughing.

  • daisougen wo tsukuru
    To build a great grassy field. (literally.)
    To do something so ridiculous it gets in response a bunch of laughs.
  • daisougen fukahi
    Great grassy field inevitable.
    Used to say doing something will inevitably lead to a reaction where everyone will be laughing.

It may be worth noting that in mahjong, 麻雀, a board game popular in Japan, of which some series are even about, there's a different but similar-sounding term: daisangen 大三元. This refers to forming a hand containing one triplet of every one of the three different dragon tiles (white tiles, red dragons (中), and green dragons (発)). For context, there's only 4 tiles of each in a game, so it's very unlikely for someone to end up with a hand containing 3 of each. The daisangen is a yakuman 役満 hand, meaning it awards the maximum points possible for a single hand. There's also a yakuman that contains only green tiles, called ryuuiisou 緑一色. Either of these could be the source of some pun involving the green grassy laughs.


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