Bad Japanese puns - Dajare

There are different types of puns and wordplay. In the Japanese language this is even greater thanks to the numerous expressions and different ways of reading an ideogram. Bad puns in Japanese is called dajare (駄洒落) which can also mean weak joke. Learning these bad Japanese puns, in addition to making you laugh, can help you improve the breadth of your language skill.

A pun can be a play on words or the act of combining words. There is even another expression called gorowase (語呂合わせ) which means rhyming, playing with words and also pun. This word is the junction of the ideograms word (語), spine (呂) and the verb combine (合わせ). There is yet another term to refer to puns and wordplay which is kotobaasobi (言葉遊び) which literally means word of play.

In English, bad puns usually explore similar sounds or words, and sometimes the same words that have different meanings. In Japanese there are thousands of puns involving the same words, as the Japanese language has few syllables compared to other languages.

The amount of linguistic and written ambiguities available to Japanese speakers permitem create different types of puns and games involving words that we never imagined before. In this article, we will prioritize bad puns (dajare). We will also leave some images with other strips that you should try to understand by yourself. xD

Bad Japanese Puns - Dajar Bad Japanese Puns - Dajare

Bad Japanese Puns - So bad it's good

Sometimes we don't see much fun in Japanese puns due to the language difference. Our rhymes and jokes are quite different, in the Japanese language it seems more like a word game. Let's see if you'll be able to understand the puns below:

  • パンダの好きな食べ物は何ですか?
  • Panda no sukina tabemono wa nandesu ka?
  • What is a panda's favorite food?
  • Reply - パンだ!- pan-da! (Bread)

The first pun is very similar to Brazilian puns. We ask a question where the answer rhymes or equals the question! PAN in Japanese is bread, and we use the GIVES as a statement similar to the verb desu (です)。

  • 先生:「I'm going to Tokyo」を過去形にしなさい。/ 学生:「I'm going to Edo」
  • Sensei: (...) O kako katachi ni shi nasai. Gakusei: (...);
  • Teacher: Paste the phrase "I'm going to Tokyo" / Student: I go to Edo;

In English class, the teacher asks a student to put the phrase I'm going to Tokyo in the past tense. He replies I'm going to Edo which is the old name of Tokyo in past centuries. It's not a pun involving the Japanese language, but it involves Japan and yet another language!

  • 禁煙なんて簡単だよ。私はもう100回はやったね
  • Kin'en nante kantanda yo. Watashi wa mou hyakukai hayatta ne
  • Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it like 100 times;

This pun doesn't even need an explanation! In addition to working perfectly in English!

  • アルミ缶の上にあるみかん
  • arumi kan no aru mikan
  • A tangerine in an aluminum can;

Arumi kan means aluminum can, while mikan means tangerine.

  • Nee, chanto ofuro haitteru? / Do you shower regularly?
  • can be confused with
  • Nee-chan a ofuro haitteru? / Do you shower with your sister?

Bad puns in Japanese - dajare

Puns involving similar words

There are thousands of bad puns in Japanese involving the same words, let's see a few below:

  • イルカがいるか
  • iruka ga iruka?
  • Are there dolphins?

both the word dolphin like the question exists? it's iruka. The only difference is in the spelling of the word dolphin which is in katakana.

  • スキーが好き 
  • suki ga suki
  • I like to ski

The same thing happens with the word skiing and liking, which are the same.

  • 布団がお山の方まで吹っ飛んだ。おや、まあ! 
  • Futon ga oyama no kata made futtonda. Oya, maa!
  • Flew to the side of the mountain. Oh gosh!

Another example of similar words in a sentence. This time the thing went further and used 2 puns in just one.

  • パン 作ったくことある? 
  • Pan tsukutta koto aru
  • Have you ever made bread?

If you write without kanji, or if you mention this question in a conversation, the person can understand: パンツ食ったことある? that means have you ever eaten panties? 

  • 虫は無視する
  • mushi wa mushi suru
  • ignore the insect

Other puns involving Japanese

If you study Japanese, you probably have already invented or found a bad pun in facebook groups or social networks involving Japanese and Portuguese languages. The Japanese phonemes are very similar to the Portuguese ones, so several Japanese words end up resembling some funny Portuguese word, thus creating several bad puns.

A group famous for doing this is the Nihongo o benkyō suru hōhō! If you want to check it out, you'll die laughing! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you know any other bad puns involving the Japanese language? Leave it in the comments and share with friends! Read other articles below: 

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