Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"I'm feeling a little fukuppy today"

Culture is grand, and strange. It seems that "Fukuppy" is the name of a mascot recently devised by the Fukushima Industries Corporation. According to Victor Mair at Language Log:
The Japanese seem to have picked up the habit of attaching "–pii" ピ イ at the end of practically any word or name to make up a new, lovable, or catchy nickname. There are old, established examples like ochappī おちゃっぴい for playful, noisy, young girls ("chatterbox; saucy / talkative / precocious girl"), which can be found in dictionaries. Almost makes me think of the last part of "puppy"!

Fukuppy's name, of course, is formed by taking Fuku(shima) as the first part, and the Fuku- 福 of Fukushima 福島 means "happiness", "good fortune", etc. to begin with. So Fukuppy is actually a very nice name for a mascot in Japanese.
In English, of course, it leaves something to be desired.

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