Cool Onomatopoeia – じめじめ


Well, you can mark it. Rainy season has just begun in Nishiaizu. It started raining yesterday at around 7 or 8 at night. Up until early last week, it was still a little chilly at night, and the air was crisp, but on Friday it finally got humid – it felt like someone put a lid over this whole area.

One of my favorite parts about being a JET is listening to the Japanese teachers talk to the students in Japanese. I’ve picked up a lot of useful phrases over the last few years. I used 「反応なし」 quite a bit my first year and finally understood how to create simple imperative sentences like 「声を出すんだ」 my second year.

On Friday I heard the teacher use the phrase じめじめ after I said it was really humid during the introductions. Pretty easy to understand from the context. I went to double check it in alc before writing this post, but nothing came up, so I googled it.

じめじめ is an example of Japanese onomatopoeia/mimetic words. Often two syllables are repeated. Knowing a decent number of these will really expand your vocabulary. The meaning for each different is often very specific, which also makes them very efficient.

Usage varies, but there are several distinct patterns:

– X(と)したY  じめじめした梅雨
– Xです       じめじめです
– XとZ      にっこりと笑う
– Xする                  ぶらぶらする

I found this example of the じめじめ usage, and this excellent grammatical explanation of onomatopoeia – in Japanese 擬音語(ぎおんご) and 擬態語(ぎたいご).

2 thoughts on “Cool Onomatopoeia – じめじめ

  1. Pingback: Underrated Phrase – 助かりました | How to Japanese

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