CultureEssayEtymologyGamingIdiomJapanese traditionSlangUncorrected

Bonkura (ぼんくら – Idiot)

  • Yesterday I introduced you to the Japanese word 間抜け (manuke – stupid).


    There is another Japanese term, ぼんくら (bonkura), which has the similar meaning of “manuke.”

    ぼん (bon) means “tray,” but it is also a gambling term that means “gambling parlor.”
    「ぼん」は “tray” を意味しますが、賭博用語で「賭場」 (gambling parlor) を表します。

    くら (kura) means “dark,” but it also means “careless” in the gambling field.
    「くら」は “dark” を意味しますが、賭博では「目が利かない」(careless) ことを表します。

    That is to say, “bonkura” originally represented a careless person/personality in gambling, and it has come to mean a stupid person/personality.

    Since being careless could become a matter of life and death for gamblers, “bonkura” was one of the most hated personality in gambling.

    Original sentence