Monday, October 23, 2017

bochi bochi (ぼちぼち): so-so

A common greeting exchanged by Osakans is "mokkari-makka?," "bochi-bochi denna". Mokkari-makka, which literally means "Are you making money?", is another typical phrase used by business minded Osakans. It is actually a greeting similar to "hello" or "How are you?" A proper and almost automatic response to "mokkari-makka" is "bochi-bochi denna".

"Bochi-bochi", which has the same meaning as "botsu-botsu" in standard Japanese, is a way of vaguely stating things are neither going extremely well nor are they very bad. "So-so" is probably the closest phrase we have in English equivalent to "bochi-bochi". Japanese people prefer to be vague when it comes to talking about their private lives, especially when asked about their incomes or anything related to money. "Bochi-bochi" is the perfect way to gloss over the subject with a cloudy answer.

Osakans will also say "bochi-bochi kaero-ka" when they are about to take leave. This means "It's about time we went home." Similarly, "bochi-bochi iko-ka" means to do something at one's own pace and not exceed one's capabilities.


Also means: Something happening steadily, as in water dripping.

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