June 20, 2013


I keep running into this, in battle situations. "Koi!" variously translated as "here!" or "bring it!" or "Go ahead and try!". Problem is, I can't find a definition in the dictionary for this usage that makes sense, for any spelling I can think of.

請い koi "request, entreaty" seems a bit farfetched but it's at least in the ball park.

行為 koui  "act, deed" also seems a bit strange.

So what is it I'm hearing?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:21 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1 Believe it or not, I think it's an exceptional conjugation of kuru, e.g. you heard "konaide" ("do not approach"), right? Same "ko". Why "koi" and not "konasai", I have no idea. J may know.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at June 20, 2013 09:50 PM (RqRa5)

2 My first thought is a possible "Nuts" scenario, but highly situational?

Though "request, entreaty" could be translated close enough to the English "come (here)".  If it's just used an imperative.  But I'm not good with the kanji, yet.

Posted by: sqa at June 20, 2013 11:13 PM (ehYGU)

3 Pete is correct.  The etymological reasons are complex and not that interesting, but it is the imperative form of the verb "kuru", to come.

Posted by: tellu541 at June 20, 2013 11:22 PM (g3Agm)

4 Thinking on it, I've heard it said something like kacha koi  or kachi koi before. 

In a little searching, I did find a fun list of Japanese sound effect words.  Useful if I watch Jojo's again.

Posted by: sqa at June 21, 2013 01:32 AM (ehYGU)

5 I can buy it as the imperative of kuru. Thanks, all!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 21, 2013 05:01 AM (+rSRq)

6 Someday I need to find out which American WWII movie it is where a Japanese officer orders his men to attack with the words "sake motte koi!" (get me a drink).


Posted by: J Greely at June 21, 2013 07:27 AM (+cEg2)


Thinking on it, I've heard it said something like kacha koi or kachi koi before.

It's katta and it's the past tense of katsu "to win", I'm pretty sure. The reason for the "ch" sound is simple pronunciation drift.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 24, 2013 02:04 PM (+rSRq)

8 I thought it was "kocchi koi", or "come here".

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at June 24, 2013 02:17 PM (RqRa5)

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