How much can someone possibly talk about the word 可愛い (かわいい – kawaii). You know the answer. But kawaii can get boring after a while (please don’t tell any Japanese person I ever uttered these words). Kawaii, while already meaning something completely different from its original use, needed to evolve again. And from the the late 1990s and on, it began Frieza-like transformations.
5. キモカワイイ – Disgusting Cute
Form: combination with 気持ち悪い (きもちわるい – disgusting, unpleasant)
One of its first uses: Dancing Baby
One of its first uses on people: アンガールズ.
4. ブスカワイイ or ブサカワイイ – Ugly Cute
Form: combination with ブス or ブサイク (ugly)
Mostly used on: women or pets
Symbol of ブスカワイイ・ブサカワイイ: the pug
3. エロカワイイ – Erotic Cute
Form: combination with エロい (erotic, sexy)
Creating the look: show off skin, while at the same time have frills, ribbons, and lace.
Origin: Around 2004, singer Koda Kumi used it to describe her fashion style.
2. カッコカワイイ – Cool Cute
Form: combination with カッコイイ(cool, attractive, good-looking, stylish)
Mostly used on: cars
1. キレカワイイ – Pretty (beautiful) Cute
Form: combination with 綺麗 (きれい – pretty, beautiful)
Mostly used on: women, especially idols and models, when they don’t quite reach the level of 美人 (びじん – beauty) but have their own charm in cute beauty.
See, kawaii is never enough.
Now you too can be a part of the evolution of kawaii. Can you think of any good examples of uses of these forms?