Word Studies

Japanese Word Studies

うるさい Fussy

Let's take a look at using うるさい urusai to mean 'fussy' or 'choosy.'

うるさい's usage isn't limited to 'loud' as in the level of volume only, but it is also used to mean 'shut up!' and as today's post shows, 'to be fussy about something.'

Notice the pattern is usually:
(what is being fussed about) + に + うるさい

服装にうるさい
fukusou ni urusai
to be fussy about one's clothes

彼はコーヒーにはうるさいです。
kare wa ko-hi- ni wa urusai desu.
He is very particular about his coffee.

This can really be about anything. You can be fussy about your sake, food, manners, fashion, bottled water and so on.

And from the Genius J-E (on a Canon V300):
彼が計画に最もうるさく異議を唱えた
kare wa keikaku ni mottomo urusaku igi o tonaeta
He was the loudest against the plan.

And I hear this from Yumi a lot:

いちいちうるさいなあ
ichiichi urusai naa
Stop nagging me!
(Said when someone nags you about doing something or when someone goes into great detail about a minute matter when it isn't necessary.)

防 -proof

Kanji Study : 防

Today we will look at a fairly common upper level kanji, 防.

As a verb it means:

ふせぐ 【防ぐ】 protect from, keep away, prevent

And we can see these meanings in 熟語 jukugo (kanji combinations), but another meaning for this kanji when used as a prefix is "-proof". Knowing this can increase your vocabulary quickly and without much headache:


** -proof **
防水 bou sui - water proof [防水靴 bou sui kutsu - water-proof shoes; 防水コート bou sui ko-to -rain coat]
防音 bou on - soundproofing [防音室 bou on shitsu - soundproof room]
防犯 bou han - prevention of crime; crime prevention [crime-proof]
防火 bou ka - fire proof
防災 bou sai - protection against (natural) disasters
防疫 bou eki - prevention of epidemics, plagues [epidemic-proof]

Then we have a few examples that appear to mean the opposite of -proof. Whereas above 防 (-proof) was added to the undesirable thing it should prevent, the following seem to have 防 to compliment that meaning:
防止 bou shi - prevention [止 means to stop]
防戦 bou sen - a defensive battle [戦 means war, battle]
防衛 bou ei - defense [衛 actually