CultureEssayEtymologyHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionSlangUncorrected

He no Kappa (Water Imp of Farts)

  • He no Kappa


    Today, I will talk about the Japanese slang “he no kappa.”

    The literal meaning is “water imp of farts,” and it expresses “trivial things” or “easy things.”

    For example: “Sonna shiken wa he no kappa da” (That exam is trivial for me).

    The most widely-accepted etymology of this slang is that it comes from “koppa no hi.”

    Since “koppa” (wood chips) burn out quickly by “hi” (fire), “koppa no hi” expresses “easy things” or “silly things.”

    It’s thought that “koppa no hi” became “kappa no he,” and inverting words became popular in the late Edo period, then it changed to “he no kappa.”

    Actually, “he no kappa” is grammatically strange.

    Original sentence