CultureEssayEtymologyHistoryIdiomJapanese traditionUncorrected

Katajikenai (かたじけない – Thanks)

  • Yesterday, I introduced you to the expression すみません (sumimasen), which is used when expressing the feeling of apology or appreciation.


    There is another expression, かたじけない (katajikenai), which can express your feeling as similar to “sumimasen” or ありがとう (arigatou – Thank you).

    “Katajikenai” originally meant something like “humbled” or “afraid,” but now it also means the feeling of appreciation.

    There are several theories about its etymology, but the truth hasn’t cleared yet.

    “Katajikenai” was used as a word of thanks in various situations before “arigatou” became popular, but these days it’s rarely used in everyday conversation.

    (You can find this expression in Japanese period films/dramas.)

    Original sentence