okanemochi, #2

So, as I have previously mentioned via my encounter with Richie-san, okanemochi means rich person. Specifically, the word is made up of two parts: okane (money) and mochi (to hold/have) – that is, okanemochi literally translated means ‘to have money’.

Why am I telling you this? Because now that you know, you can appreciate the following incident that happened to my friend and I earlier at KFC.

KFC attendant: [In Japanese] Are you having your meal here?

We wanted to take away our food, so we replied simultaneously.

Friend: Mochikaeri (lit. take home)

Me: OKANEMOCHI!

One of us was wrong. Tragically, it was me, who had yelled RICH PERSON at the attendant out of NOWHERE. I swear her face twitched in confusion. My friend looked at me in disgust, appalled. I could not decide if I wanted to cry or laugh, so I apologised instead. Congratulations to me for perfecting the art of the baka gaijin.

Joke explained: my friend and I built on the same root phrase mochi (to take), but headed in wildly different directions from there. Language construction is a magical thing. Okay, it’s not as funny in writing as in person, but whatever. Mochi a sense of humour, y’all.

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