内弁慶 [uchibenkei]

December 11, 2007 at 6:12 am (general, slang)

 

  If you have watched the anime, さよなら絶望先生[Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei], you would know 音無芽留[Otonashi Meru] who is one of Zetsubou-sensei’s students. Even though she seems to be too shy to speak, she actually swears a lot only when she mails with her mobile (That is the only one way she could communicate with others). When I saw her for the first time, I immediately came up with this term, 内弁慶[uchibenkei] though the meaning is slightly different from the original.

 内弁慶 means a person who is so arrogant at home in spite of being so timid outside. I don’t know how you say this in English, but I still wonder why 弁慶[benkei] who worked for the great warrior, 義経[Yoshitsune] is used here. So I took a quick look on the net, and it explains that he is the general object that most people think of when it comes to such a strong person. Come to think of it, there is another term using 弁慶…It’s 弁慶の泣き所[Benkei no nakidokoro] which means shanks(shins?). Even such a strong person cries when it hurts…At any rate, [uchi] means inside, so 内弁慶 means as I have said. But technically, it doesn’t work unless he/she is timid at home. So if Meru is so arrogant at home, she would be actually an 内弁慶. There might be other way around? I mean, 外弁慶[sotobenkei]…even though he is so arrogant outside, he becomes timid at home…Oh hey, this embodies a typical Japanese father, doesn’t it? If that’s the case, I would think of Asari-chan’s daddy, Iwashi…

 By the way, there are some spin-off of 内弁慶. It is ネット弁慶[netto benkei]. Easy to guess? Yes, even though he is so strong at BBS or other internet bulletin board, he is not actually in the real world. I forgot about the program’s name, but I have seen this type of guys(maybe 2ch people) being hosted on the show. They were writing some people’s names who seem to have a bad reputation on the condition of anonymous. They looked so geeky, but their comments were so harsh… 

 Don’t believe because I made up this, but I might say メール弁慶[mail benkei] to describe someone like Meru. Umm, I know the real one among my friends, though. To be honest, I do not like this type of person. So she (she was one of my junior at university) was hated by everybody else as well. She never tells how she feels in front of people, but she swears by e-mail after thing happened. Just because Meru shows up in Zetsubou-sensei, I can see her doing. But even that, I sometimes feel like hanging her from the tall tree. Oh no, I shouldn’t say like this. This is just like her!

3 Comments

  1. DannyHibiki said,

    Netto benkei does have an english equivalent : internet toughguy

    I really like seeing the differences and similarities in our languages.

  2. bangin said,

    Haha, internet toughguy! So funny!!
    Thank you for telling me this. XDD

  3. Eva said,

    Better english word for netto benkei – Keyboard Warrior

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