Arrives just in time to help people build their vocabulary in preparation for the season of shirtless days at the beach.
As a rich, colorful language, Japanese abounds in phrases to describe differing physiques. In the past, we’ve looked at descriptors for breast sizes and examined the difference between being pocchari/plump and himan/obese.
With the sultry days of summer swiftly approaching, Japan’s seashores will soon be full of shirtless men, and to help classify them, or at least their torsos, Japanese Twitter user @999Aeromarine has put together a photo collage dividing them into one of five groups.
屈強な黒人男性ちゃん (@999Aeromarine) May 08, 2017
“To me, this is an extremely clear explanation,” tweeted @999Aeromarine, so let’s take a look at each category.
● garigari / ガリガリ
Starting at the top left, we’ve got the garigari, or “skinny” group. While garigari can be used as a pejorative, with an connotation similar to “scrawny,” some online commenters said that they had a special fondness for men with this slenderest of builds.
● shimatteru / 締まってる
Shimatteru comes from shimaru, a Japanese word meaning to compact, and by extension to make firm. As such, the shimatteru build is a toned one, in which a lack of fat causes the taught muscles underneath to stand out, even they aren’t remarkably bulging.
● hosomacho / 細マッチョ
In Japanese, “macho” refers more to an abundance of muscle mass than masculine personality traits. Combine that with a truncated version of hosoi, meaning thin or narrow, and you get hosomaccho, a muscularly slender body type.
● macho / マッチョ
Get rid of the hoso qualifier, and now you’ve just got macho, Japan’s preferred equivalent for English’s “buff” or “ripped.”
● gorimacho / ゴリマチョ
Finally, the chart tops out at gorimacho. A combination of “gorilla” and “macho,” this apex of oversized musculature is a relatively new addition to the Japanese lexicon, and so not readily understood by even all native speakers. However, if you’re looking for a Japanese version of “yoked” or “jacked,” this is a good candidate, provided your audience is up-to-date on its slang.
Conspicuously absent from @999Aeromarine’s tweet are any photographic or linguistic examples of non-muscular men with high body fat percentages. Perhaps such a discussion is coming in a future chart, but in the meantime, we think we’re going to go hit the gym.