Have you ever asked the meaning of the expression Maji? Or maybe its variations like Maji Yabai, Maji De, Maji Ureshii? In this article we will delve into the meaning of Maji and its origin word Majime.
The word “maji” is used not only by young people, but also by many adults in Japan. The slang expresses something serious and unexpected. Like: “Don't you play? Seriously? I don't believe? It can not be?".
Majime – The Origin of Maji
The expressive slang “Maji” became popular among young people in the 1980s, but in fact, this expression has been around since the Edo Period and used to be commonly used.
The word originated from the adjective [真面目] which means serious and honest. This word began to be used as a language among the behind-the-scenes performers in Theater and Industry.
The word “Majide” that expresses seriousness and sincerity ended up becoming the adverb we know “Maji”, but both words are used frequently in the Japanese language.
The first times the expression was mentioned in songs in the 80's, the word had the meaning of seriously. As in the expression:
- Maji ni omae wo daita;
- I hugged you seriously;
With the popularization of Japanese delinquents Yankii the expression "Maji Daze" ended up being spread, mainly in the anime and manga of the time.
We recommend reading: Bosozoku, Yankii and Sukeban – Japanese Gangs
In 1986, a manga appeared with a Japanese name [本気] being normally read "Honki", but in this case it was titled as "Maji!". Both words are synonyms with the same meaning.
Both “Maji” and “Honki” convey the idea of seriousness, truth and holiness, which turned out to be a perfect junction that further spread the meaning of the word, thus creating the famous slang.
The manga in question shows Japanese juvenile delinquents and the Japanese Yakuza Mafia. It may be in your interest to analyze this manga that popularized the expression “maji”.
What is the real meaning of Maji?
Now that you know the origin and meaning of “Maji”, let's understand more deeply the meaning of this expression. Note that its meaning has some nuances to highlight:
The expression 「マジ」 can be used to describe a person's behavior when they are angry about something, or are doing the job seriously.
The expression also declares that you are speaking honestly and seriously. You can also use expression to emphasize your assessment when you are in doubt or when something seems larger than expected.
Maji is also often used as a prefix to join other words like the famous expression majiyabai or majiureshii, this junction presents something serious or extreme.
Maji can be written in either Hiragana [まじ] or Katakana [マジ]. As slang spoken in isolation, this expression ends up passing ideas such as:
- it's not a joke
Used with other particles and expressions, “Maji” ends up exclaiming even more the doubt and seriousness of the subject, the surprise and the extreme of the context, it is so easy to pronounce that it is often used as a habit with no important meaning.
Variations and expressions with Maji:
- ええ まじで;
- まじ? 嬉しい;
What does Maji Yabai mean?
We have previously written an article talking about the complex meaning of Yabai. And when we hear the expression “maji yabai”, what does it mean?
Originally this expression conveys the idea of being very worried, as if someone was seriously in danger. Of course, the situation and context can change this degree of danger.
Such an expression for being slang can end up being used in a non-serious situation, or maybe as a joke or with a common sense, maybe showing a possible bad situation from a certain point of view that is about to happen.
Some translators end up translating this expression depending on the context as:
- Seriously? Wow!
- This is so sick!
- Serious! Isn't that dangerous?
- Serious! This is dangerous!
Its current nuance is quite different from the Showa Era [1926-1989] where the expression was more positive than negative. Even today such an expression can refer to something positive, but this is not always the case.
I think one of the reasons why young people use maji yabai so conveniently is that it's easy to pronounce. It has a very broad meaning of words, and it spreads widely among people.
Read too: Do you know what Yabai means?
Another variant expression of "Maji Yabai" is "Maji Yabakune" where it turns Yabai into Yabakune. The character Kanna Kamui from Maid Dragon often uses this expression very often.
It is very difficult to explain the meaning of “maji yabakune”, since yabai is both a negative and a positive word, even if it is in the negative form [やばくない] or in an ascending intonation, it is not known whether the person is denying, doubting or confirming without understanding the context.
In the anime Kanna Kamui, after seeing the frequent use of these words among young people, comes to the conclusion that this word can be the answer to any situation, this is kind of true.
The most suitable translation for majiyabakune expression [マジやばくね] could be something like:
Example: Don't you think that's amazing?
これはすごいと思いませんか Kore wa sugoi to omoimasen ka
The English translation of this expression was something like “You're is wicked” which can mean something both good and bad.
What does Majide and Majika mean?
The expression Majide [マジで] is the junction of [マジ] with the particle “DE” [で]. It is usually translated as:
- That's true?
- You must be kidding!
The expression Majika [マジか] is the junction of [マジ] with the particle “KA” [か]. In this situation the [か] does not always express a question, but an exclamation.
Majika slang may end up being translated as:
- No way!
- No kidding?
- Come on!
- My God.
What does Maji Manji mean?
Maji Manji [マジ卍] is a common expression found in some manga that uses the famous and controversial swastika. It is usually found in isolated balloons or at the end of sentences.
Majimanji is a word that expresses that you feel very excited in some way, whether good or bad. Usually this expression is used to emphasize your excitement about something.
It is usually used to show excitement, energy and strength, its nuance of strength is often seen in motorcycle gangs. Such an expression can also be seen as a compliment. Remembering that the swastika in Japan differs from the Nazi swastika with another meaning linked to Buddhism.
Often the repetition of [卍] usually means Yabai [やばい], so it ends up being synonymous with Maji Yabai. Perhaps the pronunciation sounds better because the only change in the sentence is the letter N [ん].
Phrases using Maji
Below we will leave some sentences that use the expression “maji”. Notice how the expression matches other similar slang that express things like “very, really and amazing”.
That person is really a coward あいつマジで へタレ。 Aitsu maji de hetare.
Seriously? You are awesome マジで おまえすげーよ！ Majide?? Omae Sugeyo!
You are very annoying お前、マジムカつく。 Omae, maji mukatsuku.
Hey it was really surprising おいおい、マジビビったよー。 Oi oi, maji bibitta yo-.
this car is so cool あの車、まじでかっこいいね！ Ano kuruma majide kakkoiine!
please seriously please お願い、マジでお願い。 Onegai, maji de onegai.
this is surprising マジパない。 Maji panai.
I am so bored まじで暇だわ Majide hima dawa。
Gachi and Synonyms of Maji
Because it is slang, such an expression ended up falling into the mouth of the people, many often use these expressions so much that it ends up becoming something boring and irritating for some.
If you don't have control over the use of “maji”, you can learn synonyms to use in different situations. Below are some words with similar meanings to “maji”.
- Honki [本気] – gravity; seriousness; truth;
- Daiji [大事] – Adjective meaning something important or serious;
- Shiriasu [シリアス] – From English “serious”;
- Taihen [大変] – It means something terrible; immense and serious;
- Gachi [ガチ] – Serious; honest; real; lawful;
Gachi x Maji
This is another widely used slang that also conveys a nuance of seriousness. “Gachi” is an abbreviation of the sumo term “gachinko” [ガチンコ] which means “serious wrestling”.
The difference between “Maji” and “Gachi” is that “maji” is usually used in situations that you or someone close to you has caused, while “gachi” is used in unexpected and unpredictable situations.
While maji conveys the idea of seriousness, gachi conveys more the idea of tension and agility involved.
List of Synonyms for Maji
Below are some more words that can express the meaning of Maji or vice versa. The translation is pretty basic, we recommend delving deeper using a dictionary like Jisho.
We also recommend reading: How to translate and learn Japanese using jisho?
|大真面目||dai majime||for real|
|本の心||hon no kokoro||heart of the book|
|糞真面目||kuso majime||serious stool|
|普通の感覚||futsū no kankaku||normal feeling|
|本腰を入れて||hongoshi o irete||lower your heart|
|見据える||misueru||look at the|
|入れこみ方が違う||irekomi hō ga chigau||the way to enter is different|
|目付きが変わる||metsuki ga kawaru||the appearance changes|
|切り結ぶ||kirimusubu||cut and tie|
|心から||kokorokara||from the bottom of my heart|
|気は確か||ki wa tashika||I'm sure|
|手加減しない||tekagen shinai||don't adjust|
|気を入れる||ki o ireru||to focus|
|身を入れる||miwoireru||put yourself inside|
|ガチンコで||gachinko de||with gachinko|
|手抜きなし||tenuki nashi||no omissions|
|いろめきたつ||iromeki tatsu||irome kitatsu|
|乗り気気張る||noriki kibaru||be excited|
|気合いが入る||kiai ga hairu||I am enthusiastic|
|腰が入る||koshi ga hairu||i get a waist|
|真面目本当||majime hontō||seriously true|
|真剣味||shinken aji||serious taste|
|真剣み||shinken mi||for real|
|腰を入れる||koshiwoireru||put your hips|
|本腰でかかる||hongoshi de kakaru||take it seriously|
|心掛ける||kokorogakeru||goal to do|
|本腰を据える||hon koshiwosueru||be serious|