Japanese Baseball Vocabulary

Hideo Nomo's spectacular performance for the Dodgers this season has
resulted in many of his ardent admirers attempting to learn some Japanese
baseball (yakyuu) lingo. Here is a brief list--try yelling some of these
from the bleachers to make the All Star from Japan feel at home! Feel free
to send us any additional beisubohru terms via e-mail.

* Getto-tsuu : "get-two" = double play
* Goro : ground ball
* P-goro : grounded to pitcher
* Droppu : "drop" = sinker
* Rainaa : "liner" = line drive)
* Yakyuu : "field ball" = baseball
* Sanshin :"three swings" = strike out
* Naitaa : "nighter" = night game
* Shinjin : "new man" = rookie
* Sebango : "back number" = uniform number
* Nihon Shirizu : "Japan Series" = Japan's "World" Series
* Taimuri hitto : "timely hit" = clutch hit

Did you know that in Japan "one and two" is "one strike and two balls," not "one ball and two strikes"?

Thanks for the above words and phrases to YI of Berkeley.

From the 1957 book Nihongo by Japanese linguist Haruhiko Kindaichi come a few other good baseball words. Kindaichi used them as examples of how Japanese sports editors could invent new, apt words simply by combining kanji characters (presumably it would not do in wartime Japan at least to use "imported" words for what had become a national pastime).

Nomo-senshu is probably too young to remember most of these:

* Kaishoh : an outstanding victory
* Rakushoh : an easy victory
* Shinshoh : a narrow victory
* Sampai : a crushing defeat
* Sekihai : a regrettable defeat

Here are some good words about pitching:

* Kohkyuu : a good pitch
* Akkyuu : a wild pitch
* Kantoh : pitching the whole game
* Shittoh : a bad pitch
* Zekkohkyuu : a great pitch
* Myohtoh : a fine pitch

Additional information on Hideo Nomo can be found at
http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~k_ono/tornado/

. (Kindaichi text translated by Umeyo Hirano, from The Japanese Language,
pub. 1978 by Charles E. Tuttle. Apologies for the somewhat bizarre
romanization, necessitated by the irregular display of special characters in
some browsers.)

Return to NBRP Home Page

Return to Japanese Baseball Page