View Full Version : wife & husband words

08-05-05, 00:36
I've got a ? on these two words in Japanese that I can't
seem to remember.

Aren't there some really bad (mysogonistic sounding)
words for each of these?

Like for wife, isn't one of the Japanese words for wife
translate directly as "in the house" or something like that?

And for husband, does one translate as "master" ?

Mike Cash
08-05-05, 02:56
The key phrase in your post is "one of", and it applies to the term(s) for "husband" as well.

08-05-05, 11:10
"kanai" means "inside the house" - and is apparently used when one speaks about his own wife. When speaking about another's wife, that person's wife is referred to as "okusan" (meaning "a person deep inside").

A woman refers to her husband as "shujin" which means "master". Anyone else refers to your husband as "goshujin" - with "go" added for politeness.

Apparently the roots of these words have pretty much lost their meaning.

(I'm only a beginner at Japanese, I'm only saying this stuff based on what I've learned. This was written about in the Pimsleur Japanese course)

Another word for wife is "nyobo", which is apparently less formal than "kanai". A husband can also call his wife by using "anata" (you). Sounds kinda rude by western standards, but apparently it's more of an affectionate term and acceptable. I was speaking to a japanese woman, and she says she can call her husband by using "anata" as well, so I guess it's ok for both spouses.


08-05-05, 15:40
I think the word for anata(M) is very very polite...it's not a simple'you'...
M=expensive or valuable
=place or side

Mike Cash
08-05-05, 23:28
I've never encountered a Japanese husband calling his wife "anata", but I don't socialize very much so don't go by what I say.