CultureEssayEtymologyIdiomJapanese traditionLanguageSlangUncorrected

Ii Kimi and Ii Zama (「いい気味」と「いい様」)

  • Ii Kimi and Ii Zama


    The Japanese adjective いい (ii) usually means “good” or “nice,” but it sometimes implies the reverse and converys irony.
    日本語の「いい」は、基本的に “good” や “nice” を意味しますが、特定の単語の前に付くことで反語的に用いられることがあります。

    The Japanese term いい迷惑 (ii meiwaku) that I introduced you yesterday is one of the example.

    There are other terms that use ironic “ii” — for example, they’re いい気味 (ii kimi) and いい様 (ii zama).

    “Kimi” means “feeling” and “zama/sama” means “figure,” so the literal meaning of “ii kimi” and “ii zama” are “good feeling” and “good figure,” respectively.
    「気味」は “feeling,” 「様」は “figure” を意味するので、「いい気味」と「いい様」の文字通りの意味はそれぞれ “good feeling” や “good figure” となります。

    However, actually “ii kimi” implies someone’s failure or misfortune, and “ii zama” implies someone’s stupid/disgraceful figure.

    Original sentence