Despite the protestations of grumpy old men and purists, languages evolve. Japanese, of course, is no exception with new phrases and vocabulary springing into existence seemingly every day. Here are three new “gyaru” words, as selected by the magazine Koakuma Ageha (Little Demon Ageha), that you can use to impress (or confuse) your Japanese friends!

▼Koakuma Ageha magazine.


“Gyaru,” if you’re not familiar with the term, is a relatively new word itself, having come into usage in the 70s and now refers to young women who take a great interest in fashion. These women typically wear elaborate outfits, apply heavy makeup, have dark tans, and can often be seen in “youth” areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku in Tokyo.

As with any subculture, gyaru have their own lingo, called “gyaru go” (literally “gyaru language”), with new words rapidly popping in and out of usage. Koakuma Ageha, one of the most popular gyaru magazines, has compiled a list of the best new gyaru vocabulary! Here are the top three.

3. Yaguru


According to Koakuma Ageha, “yaguru” is a verb meaning “to be caught cheating on the scene.”

If you’re scratching your head now, take heart! This word is a bit baffling, even for Japanese people. Basically, the idea is that a person was cheating and their significant other happened to walk in and see them in the middle of the act. We assume “the act” could be anything from being out on a date with someone else to something a bit more, shall we say, “adult” oriented.

The main point of confusion is that the word, when used in the active voice, implies a passive action. So, in the picture above, if the calico cat in the background is the boyfriend and the shocked cat in the foreground is the girlfriend, the calico cat did “yaguru” and the shocked cat had “yaguru” done to her. Either way, it’s not a pleasant experience for anyone involved.

2. Yababa


The number two spot goes to “yababa,” which is a combination of “amazingness,” “cuteness” and “looseness.” The more “ba”s added, the more amazing something is. So a “yababa” dress is pretty cute, amazing, and a bit thrown together, while a “yababababababa” dress is really cute, incredibly amazing, and kind of thrown together.


The picture above was one example of “yababa” we found on Twitter. We’re not exactly sure what about the woman is “thrown together,” though she does look a bit confused.

1. KS


And the best new gyaru word is: “KS.”

For this to make sense, we need to back up a bit and talk about Line, a free chat/text/phone app that has recently skyrocketed in popularity in Japan. Since it lets you communicate for free, it’s become the texting app of choice for many Japanese people, young and old. The app also has a number of helpful features, like “stamps,” which are basically cute or funny pictures you can send to spice up your conversations.

Another feature that is even more helpful (or troublesome, depending on your perspective) is the “read” notification. If you’ve ever sent a text message and then spent the next three hours waiting for a reply, wondering if the recipient has seen the message, you’d probably appreciate the “read” feature. Quite simply, it lets you know if the other person has seen your message.


But this helpful feature also creates a new problem—your sent message shows up as read, but you never get a reply! This frustrating situation is called “kidoku through” (“kidoku” meaning “[something] has been read”). However, since Japanese doesn’t have the English “th” sound, “through” becomes “suruu,” leading to the abbreviation “KS.” Here, “through” implies that something was accepted and then left as is—it “went through” without being dealt with.

“KS” mostly seems to be used by the person who’s done the ignoring, usually offering up an apology when finally replying. For example, “Sorry about the KS! I was going to reply, but my train came!”

For any Line users out there who want to maintain their privacy by keeping the app from marking messages as “read” on your friends’ phones, there is a solution! You can turn the feature off in the notifications settings or download an app to let you read messages in secret (Japanese only).

So, there you have it! The three best new gyaru words: yaguru, yababa, and KS. Hopefully, you won’t have any reason to use “yaguru” any time soon, but let us know if you’ve seen any yababa clothing or had KS trouble with your friends!

Source: Naver Matome, Tabroid, Amazon Japan
Image source: Naver Matome, Twitter, Wikipedia, Twitter