What does Omoshiroi mean in Japanese?

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Have you ever wondered what the word omoshiroi [面白い] actually means in Japanese? In this article we will do a complete analysis on that word and understand its meanings, uses, etymology, inflections, origin and secrets.

The word omoshiroi [面白い] is used as an adjective of type i [い] which means interesting, fascinating and intriguing. It can also mean fun, pleasant, funny, comical, satisfying, favorable, desirable, encouraging and good.

The word [面白い] is the junction of the ideogram [面] which means mask, surface, characteristics and face, together with the ideogram [白] which means white. White represents something bright and clear, also an innocent person.

Etymology and Origin of Omoshiroi

Its origin is unknown, but its etymology is clear. The character [面] here does not mean face, but it is the scene spread out in front of your eyes. It can also represent your face’s reaction to seeing something pleasant and interesting.

The white that means bright and clear represents well the face of a person who is seeing a beauty or landscape that he finds interesting. So, when you see a bright and clear scene in front of you, it invokes a pleasant feeling.

This pleasant feeling was later expanded to mean “fun” or “attractive” and then expanded to mean “interesting”. The word is a “yamatokotoba” of Japanese origin, unrelated to words of Chinese origin.

Another theory: In the past, people used to talk around the fire at night. When someone said something interesting, the smiling faces of the others would rise and appear white in the firelight. Thus, interesting conversations lead to the whiteness that appears before the eyes.

What does Omoshiroi mean in Japanese?

Related and derived words from omoshiroi

The word can be adapted for expressions like omoshiroiyouni [面白いように] which means easily or without any effort. In the Kansai dialect, omoshiroi can be spoken omoroi [おもろい].

The opposite or opposite of omoshiroi can be tsumaranai [つまらない] which means tedious, trivial and useless. Or also ajikenai [あ じ け な い] which means tiring, tasteless, dull, irritating, miserable and vain.

A serious synonym kyoumibukai [興味深い] which literally means very interesting or of great interest, a higher value than omoshiroi, but not so common to be used.

We also have the noun omoshiromi [面白み] which can refer to an interest, resource, fun or attraction. Another noun is omoshirosa [面白さ] and omoshiroge [おもしろげ] which also means interest and fun.

We have the combination of two words omoshirookashi [おもしろおかしい] which means humorous; funny; funny; laughable; hilarious; comic and jocular. We also have a godan verb omoshirogaru [面白がる] which means to have fun, to enjoy, to think of having fun;

We cannot fail to mention the Japanese adjectives ureshii and tanoshii, which have a lot to do with the word omoshiroi. Both words are adjectives that represent something happy, joyful, fun, but each has its differences.

What does Omoshiroi mean in Japanese?

Inflection and Conjugation of Omoshiroi

The adverb of the adjective omoshiroi is omoshiroku [面白く]. Below we leave the possible inflections of the word omoshiroi and its adverb for you to examine and study calmly:

InflectionJapaneseRomaji
Imperfect (未然 形)面白かろomoshirokaro
Continued (連用 形)面白くomoshiroku
Terminal (終止 形)面白い
Attributive (連 体形)面白い
Hypothetical (仮 定形)面白けれomoshirokere
Imperative (命令 形)面白かれomoshirokare
Negative informal面白くないomoshiroku nai
Informal past面白かったomoshirokatta
Past negative informal面白くなかったomoshiroku nakatta
Formal面白いですomoshiroi desu
Formal negative面白くないですomoshiroku nai desu
Formal past面白かったですomoshirokatta desu
Past negative formal面白くなかったですomoshiroku nakatta desu
Conjunctive面白くてomoshirokute
Conditional面白ければomoshirokereba
Provisional面白かったらomoshirokattara
Volitional面白かろうomoshirokarō
Adverbial面白くomoshiroku
Degree面白さomoshirosa

Example sentences

外国人って面白いなあ。
gaikokuzin tte omoshiroi naa. 
Foreigners are interesting.
人は子供たちに面白い話をした。
Hito wa kodomo-tachi ni omoshiroi hanashi o shita.
People told the children an interesting story.
料理することは面白い。
Ryōri suru koto wa omoshiroi.
Cooking is fun.

Omoshiroi in English

Although we translate the meanings into Portuguese, it may be good to highlight the English words that represent the meaning of omoshiroi. The English language usually has more words to represent than Portuguese.

In English, according to jisho.org, the word omoshiroi means: interesting; fascinating; intriguing; enthralling; amusing; funny; comical; enjoyable; fun; entertaining; pleasant; agreeable; good; satisfactory; favorable; desirable; encouraging.

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