How to Turn Anything Into a Verb

Now I love English words turned Japanese.  I’ve discussed the importance of being able to use them before.  But I especially enjoy English words turned into Japanese verbs by adding る to the end of them.

You probably all know サボる (saboru), one of the first words you learn that has both katakana and hiragana in it.  This comes from the word “sabotage”, even though the meaning is to cut/or not do (class/work).

There is a big trend among younger Japanese to just add る to any English words they feel like, and a lot of them seem to have caught on.  Some of these are older, some newer, and I can guarantee there will be many more in the future.

1.  パニクる (panikuru): to panic
2.  トラブる (toraburu): to run into trouble, to have trouble
3.  ダブる (daburu): something is appearing as double, or overlapping
4.  ググる(guguru): to google something
5.  ミスる(misuru): to make a miss, mistake at your job.
6.  メモる(memoru): to take a memo, write something down.
7. ハモる (hamoru): to make a harmony

How do you use these words?  Here is a sample paragraph I wrote using all 7.

Example (Japanese)

Example (English)
While I was writing down a memo, I made a big mistake, and to fix it I had to use Google it.  But while I was googling, I ran into some trouble, and since my boss was in a hurry, I started panicking.  After I finally finished it, I realized my co-worker also wrote down a copy of the memo, and everything I did was for nothing, so everyone said in harmony “idiot.”

I like to think the る transformation is similar to the way “burn” was turned into the verb “burninate.”

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


How to Turn Anything Into a Verb — 8 Comments

  1. これすごく面白い!やっぱり「サボる」の混ぜた字をはじめた見たとき…「何これっ?!」とすごいびっくりしたよね。それ以外の「る」動詞があれなんて知らなかったから知らせてくれてありがとうね!★

  2. ネゴる =交渉

  3. I love how similar to the English past tense of the verb パニクった is. That’s pretty cool, I’m not forgetting that one any time soon.
    Do they always conjugate like verbs like 分かる?Or is there any iru eru ones that actually conjugate like other iru eru verbs?

    • Words that sound like English do create a strangely powerful connection in your mind. Never thought about パニクった like that though!

      There might be exceptions, but I do think foreign word-る verbs are mostly conjugated like this.

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