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December 29, 2011


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First thoughts that came to me with Flubit was the pronunciation of 'flu' -- short for 'influenza'? -- and then 'Flubber', the ectoplasm-type play material (later the name of a film).


As a very poor third-language speaker of Japanese, I would say that Pungency (pan-gen-shii)just sounds nice in Japanese - those two syllabic 'n's and the long 'i' give it a rather relaxed sound.

As for Flubit, as a native British English speaker I would have thought 'flub' and its negative connotations were well known.

@John: Flubber was also on my mind when I wrote the original post on this subject, about a shoe style called Flubby: http://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2011/02/oddly-named-shoes-for-spring-2011.html

pungency is subtly and delicately named compared to the soft drink i still remember from japan in the 1980s: Pocari Sweat! i wonder if it's still around...

Hey, Happy New Year, and nice to meet you and your b log!

@James I agree that so much of the success in naming with English words in Japan is to do with the sound of the word and the shape of the letters. It doesn't draw any connotations for me to other concepts in Japanese, but it does sound pleasant.

And since @lilly brought up Pocari Sweat, a post on Japanese milky beverages would not be complete without mention of Calpis (a lovely portmanteau of calcium and the Sanskrit for butter flavor sarpis)! They changed the name to Calpico in post English-speaking countries, but I still think of it as Calpis (pronounced Ka(ru)-pii(soo) which ends up sounding a bit like cow piss).

Another reason I'd never drink Calpis? It's owned by Ajinomoto - makers of MSG. *shudder*

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