Tochigi JET Dictionary

A list of words not taught in class JETs in Tochigi have found useful–for us by us.


唐揚げ(からあげ karaage): Japanese-style fried chicken (often found at matsuri and in bars)


珈琲(コーヒー koohii): “Coffee” written in kanji

麺(めん): noodles (ramen, udon, soba, etc., but not used for Western-style pasta)

Expressing Emotion

助かります(たすかります tasukarimasu): Literally “I’m saved,” usually a way to express gratitude at someone’s help (also commonly found in the past tense).

ヤバイ(yabai): slang way to say something is either “cool/awesome” or “awful/crazy” (like “sick” in English)

違和感がある(いわかん iwakan ga aru):There’s no good English translation, but it’s a good way to say something like, “There’s something ‘off’ about X” or “I’m not entirely comfortable with [someone/an idea/etc.]”–a way to disagree or express discomfort respectfully.

はまる (hamaru): to be crazy/obsessed about something

悩む (なやむ nayamu): to be troubled or worried

からかう(karakau): Picking on/teasing (someone)

よろしく (yoroshiku): Part of the famous phrase everyone quickly learns as it is a staple in self-introductions: よろしくお願いします. It’s hard to translate into English and is very context-sensitive, but has an overall tone of “work with me here” or “let’s be tight” and can be used by itself casually or part of a phrase formally.

Daily Life

代休 or 振り替え休日(だいきゅう daikyuu、ふりかえきゅうじつ furikae kyuujitsu): a make-up day off for if you worked overtime

サボる(saboru): To ditch (class)

貧血 (ひんけつ hinketsu): anemia

化粧室(けしょうしつ keshoushitsu): The “powder room”

湿気 (しっけ shikke): humidity

流行る (はやる hayaru): to become trendy, popular

ゴミ袋(ゴミぶくろ gomibukuro): trash bag

レジ袋(レジぶくろ rejibukuro): plastic (or potentially paper) store bag

Japanese Culture

紅葉 (こうよう kouyou): the autumn leaves of trees once they’ve turned from green to yellow, orange, red or brown.

鍋(なべ nabe): a pot or the general type of food cooked in a big pot (like sukiyaki or shabu shabu, for instance)

Tochigi Dialect

だいじ (daiji): Tochigi-ben for 大丈夫 (daijoubu or “okay”). The only part of the dialect I’ve heard people of all ages use.


フワフワ(fuwa fuwa): fluffy

びしゃびしゃ and びしょびしょ (bisha bisha, bisho bisho): drenched or soaked (ex. if you forgot your umbrella)

“Incorrect” Grammar (for Colloquial Use)

全然いい (zenzen ii): “Totally fine.” 全然 is technically only used with a negative to mean (not…at all), but is used casually in the opposite.

られる→れる (rareru → reru; ex. 食べられる→食べれる): a shortening of the potential conjugation