A Guide to Japanese Twitter Slang

Maybe not a lot of people know that Twitter in Japan has its own vocabulary. Talking with your buddies on Twitter is kind of like meeting them on the street.

つぶやく tsubuyaku

Literally, “to mutter”. But the real meaning, of course, is “to tweet”. The difference being that it’s a real word and not a horrid-sounding neologism. A related pun is 粒谷区, which makes an analogy between Twitter and Tokyo’s young Shibuya ward.

xxxなう nau

Appending なう to a noun means that you’re doing it now. The origin is simply English. For example, “workなう” means you’re working, or “Shibuyaなう” means you’re in Shibuya.

ふぁぼる faboru

To add a tweet to your favorites.

RT @xxx, QT @xxx

“RT” is “retweet”, but in Japan tweets are often pasted as part of a quote. So, “QT”, “quote tweet”, is used to show that comments are appended to the end.

TL遅い TL osoi

Slow timeline. Not a lot is happening in the Twitterverse.

爆発しろ bakuhatsu shiro

“Blow it up.” Used to indicate what you want to do with an annoying person or event.

片思い、片思われ kataomoi, kataomoware

“Unrequited love.” When you’re following someone but they haven’t followed you back. When someone is doing the same to you, you use the latter, a complicated pun.

xxxだん dan

“Done,” the much less popular companion of “now”.

よるほー yoruhoo

If it happens to be exactly 12:00AM when you’re checking Twitter, you post a よるほー to alert the world. The sound is like an owl.

ヒウィッヒヒー hwihhihii

It’s an arrangement of katakana that mildly resembles the Twitter logo. ヒwィヒヒer — see it?

ディスる disuru

To disrespect someone. This 80’s hip hop term made its way into Twitter slang in some inexplicable way.


Posted: June 25th, 2010 | Japan 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “A Guide to Japanese Twitter Slang”

  1. 1 ESB said at 5:33 am on June 25th, 2010:

    woah dude

  2. 2 Das said at 3:51 pm on August 1st, 2010:

    This will be useful.

  3. 3 Leonardo Boiko said at 1:25 pm on November 20th, 2010:

    Sometimes I see on twitter a キリ (or things like “(キリ” —tucked at the end like that, without a closing parenthesis). Any help on what it means? 🙂

  4. 4 Avery said at 8:01 am on December 5th, 2010:

    That’s a sort of evil eye, or a sharp glance.

    Here’s another Twitter term I’m hesitant to try and translate properly: