Japanese English Compound Nouns Expressions

Which of these ‘Japanese English’ expressions would you find in the Oxford English Dictionary? Which wouldn’t you find but a native English speaker might guess the meaning of anyway? Which would definitely need explaining? How would you explain them?


Paper driver



A sayonara homerun

Hello work


Golden week

Pair look

Recruit suit

Long seller



Choose the correct explanation for what Japanese people mean when they use the Japanese English expressions below (the other explanations are what English native speakers might think the expressions mean the first time they hear them):
Cheek dance = people who are dancing very close or a person who is moving their face as they swish water around in their mouth after they clean their teeth

High teens = young people who are taking drugs or people who are between 15 and 19

A girl hunt = when men go out to pick up women or the time women go out to look for men

No make = the time when you wear no lipstick etc. or a product that has no branding

Season off = a holiday that is very long or the time when most people don’t take a holiday

A cutter = a knife that you use on paper or a person who takes out bad scenes from movies

A nighter = a baseball game that takes place after dark or a person who spends all evening in a disco

Home drama = a soap opera or a domestic accident

Free talking = a hands-free phone or an open discussion

A magic pen = a marker or something that writes with invisible ink

Non pro = being an amateur or being against something

To crank in = to start an old car or to start shooting a film

A meat shop = a pickup bar or a butcher’s

A plus driver = an elderly motorist or a Phillips screwdriver

A TV game=a quiz show that is on TV or a video game that you can play on your TV

Without using any words in the expressions, explain what any one of the Japanese English expressions below mean. When your partner thinks they know which one you are talking about, they will point. Tell them if that was your intention.
1. A free pass

2. My pace

3. A doctor stop

4. Heartful

5. Skinship

6. The virgin road

7. A key holder

8. BGM

9. NG

10. SL

11. A guard man

12. Recycle shop

13. A one room mansion

14. A bed town

15. Paper test

16. Sharp pen

17. A T back

18. A one piece

19. Game soft

20. Live house

21. My boom

22. Royal milk tea

23. A heading shoot

24. Guts pose

25. Back mirror

26. Front glass

27. A silver seat

28. Cool biz

29. An OL

30. CM

31. Freeter

32. Parasite singles

33. Panic movie


PDF version for easy printing: JapaneseEnglishCompounds

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