Thursday, March 26, 2020

seiteki na imi de 性的な意味で

NSFW : this article may contain words or images you'd rather not have your boss see.

In Japanese, seiteki na imi de 性的な意味で, literally "with the sexual meaning," or "in the sexual sense," is a handy phrase used to clarify a possibly ambiguous statement, making sure a double entendre is understood with its indecent meaning, as opposed to its innocent meaning.

さきが好き・・・ 性的な意味で
Manga: Mahou Shoujo Ore 魔法少女 俺 (Chapter 4, 魔法少女☆増えた)


The phrase seiteki na imi de 性的な意味で is added after a sentence to make it sexual somehow by indicating that it has a sexual meaning. For example:

さきが好き・・・ 性的な意味で
Manga: Mahou Shoujo Ore 魔法少女 俺 (Chapter 4, 魔法少女☆増えた)
  • Saki ga suki......
    seiteki na imi de

    [I] like Saki...... in the sexual sense [of the word "like."]
    [I] like Saki...... sexually.
    • As opposed to the "I like you as a friend" meaning of the word "like."

This phrase isn't used seriously, only for comedic purposes, specially in "dirty jokes," shimoneta 下ネタ, around the internet, and in some cases in illustrations, and manga and anime, too.

In particular, on the internet, it's common for jokes to be made by enclosing inner thoughts or retorts with parentheses after a phrase. Some examples from Pixiv:

  • tetsuya shita (sei-teki na imi de)
    [I] stayed up all night. (in the sexual sense.)
    • In other words, someone stayed up all night having sex.
  • teki ni osowareru (sei-teki na imi de)
    [They] will be assaulted by the enemy. (in the sexual sense.)
    • In other words, they will be sexually assaulted.

As you may imagine, you can put this stock phrase after virtually any sentence. It's about as funny as saying " bed" in English.

  • o-te-yawaraka ni onegai shimasu (seiteki na imi de)
    Please be gentle [with me]... [in bed].
    • o-te-yawaraka ni
      With soft hands. With gentle hands. Used in the sense of handling someone gently, of not bashing them hard-handed.

Some words that can mean "to have sex" in Japanese include: daku 抱く, "to hug," yaru やる, "to do, " taberu 食べる, "to eat," gattai 合体, "combination (e.g. mecha)," and naka-yoku suru 仲良くする, "to become in good terms [with someone]."

It's like a minefield of sexual innuendos. Any anime will have a phrase that can be interpreted sexually if your mind is in the gutter.

・・・昔から毎日ケンカをふっかけてたのはニャル子の気を引きたかったから ・・・だから今ここでニャル子を・・・抱く・・・・・・・・・ ・・・・・・・・・・・・ハ ハグじゃなくて? セックスの方で ぎっ
Manga: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san 這いよれ!ニャル子さん (Chapter 5, ぼくらのうちゅうCQC)
  • Context: Cthuko クー子 wants to "hug" Nyaruko ニャル子, if you know what she means.
  • ...mukashi kara mainichi kenka wo fukkaketeta no wa Nyaruko no ki wo hikitakatta kara
    ...[I] picked fights with Nyaruko every day since always because [I] wanted [your] affection.
    • ki wo hiku
      To attract someone's affection.
    • fukkaketa
      (a contraction of fukkakete-ita ふかっけていた.)
  • ...dakara ima koko de Nyaruko wo... daku.........
    ...that's why right here and now [I'll] embrace... Nyaruko...
    • dakara
      Given that. Because of that. That's why.
  • ............ha, hagu janakute?
    ・・・・・・・・・・・・ハ ハグじゃなくて?
    [Y... you don't mean] hug?
  • sekkusu no hou de
    [I mean] sex.
    • hou

      Direction. Way.
    • There are two "ways" a word can be interpreted, and, in this case, she means it's to be interpreted "with the way of sex," literally.
  • gi'


Sometimes, other phrases in the pattern __-teki na imi de 〇〇的な意味で to disambiguate things. For example:

いつか源蔵様を味見させてはもらえませんか?(食欲的な意味で) (性的な意味で)味見か・・・・・・ お お前が大人になってからな?
Manga: Kemono Michi けものみち (Chapter 5)
  • Context: Hanako 花子, a voracious dragon girl, wants to devour Shibata Genzou 柴田源蔵.
  • itsuka Genzou-sama wo ajimi sasete wa moraemasen ka? (shokuyoku-teki na imi de)
    Genzou-sama, someday won't [you] let [me] have a taste of [you]? (in the appetite sense.)
  • (sei-teki na imi de) ajimi ka......
    (In the sexual sense) have a taste, huh......
  • o, omae ga otona ni natte kara na?
    お お前が大人になってからな?
    A... after you become an adult, okay?

The ~teki ~的 suffix can be used after practically anything. For example:

  • butsuri
    Physics. The laws of physics.
  • butsuri-teki
    Physical. As in "physically impossible."

By the way, the opposite of seiteki na imi de 性的な意味で would be:

  • kenzen
    Healthy. Not having irregularities.
    Wholesome. Innocent. Not being perverted.
  • kenzen-teki na imi de
    With the wholesome meaning.
    In the wholesome sense.


It's worth noting that seiteki na imi de 性的な意味で isn't the only phrase that can go after parentheses to make jokes in such way.

Another phrase is imi-shin 意味深, "profound meaning," sometimes read as imi-buka 意味深, which means the meaning of something is "deep," fukai 深い.

This is used to imply that a phrase that normally doesn't really mean anything actually has some sort of deeper, ulterior meaning. Often, an indecent meaning.

For example, someone watching an anime where a character who is a bulldog drawn as a cute anime boy says that he "wants to become a cat" might comment:


  • ore wa kyou kara neko ni naru (imi-shin)
    Starting today I'll become a cat. (profound meaning.)

The character said ore wa kyou kara neko ni naru, and someone on the internet just added imi-shin. Why would they do that? What's so profound about wanting to become a cat?

In Japanese, neko ネコ, besides innocently meaning a "cat," the feline animal, is also a gay slang for the "bottom" in a homosexual relationship. So even something like this can become a double entendre.

  • Starting today I'll become a "bottom."

The phrase imi-sen 意味浅, "shallow meaning," is the less common opposite, used when the meaning of something is "shallow," asai 浅い, that is, literal. In particular, when something actually not-indecent is said in a situation where something lewd is expected.

  • kinoko ga tabetai (imi-sen)
    [I] want to eat a mushroom. (shallow meaning.)
    • Literally, that's it.
    • No profound meaning found here, in spite of the euphemisms surrounding mushrooms in Japanese.
Painting of a woman eating a mushroom.
Anime: Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai 下ネタという概念が存在しない退屈な世界 (Episode 2)


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