Shisshō (失笑 – Bursting into Laughter)

  • Shisshō


    Have you ever burst into laughter because something was so funny?

    Such a laugh is referred to as ‘shisshō‘ (失笑) in Japanese.

    Shi/shitsu‘ (失) usually means “lose,” but here it means “mistake” or “wrong.”
    「失」は通常 “lose” を意味しますが、ここでは “mistake/wrong” を意味します。

    In addition, ‘shō‘ (笑) means “laugh,” so the literal meaning of ‘shisshō’ means “a wrong laugh.”
    また、「笑」は “laugh” を意味するので、「失笑」での文字どおりの意味は “a wrong laugh” となります。

    However, since ‘shitsu’ (失) is familiar in the meaning of “lose,” many Japanese people believe that ‘shisshō’ means “a bitter laugh.”
    「失」の意味が “lose” である認識が強いためか、「失笑」の意味を「呆れて笑えない」と勘違いしている日本人がとても多いです。

    According to a survey by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, more than 60% of Japanese people use this word incorrectly.

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