リーマンはつらいよ [The classification for salarymen]

January 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm (BL, general, otaku word, slang)


 Before I start this entry, I must say I am terribly sorry that I haven’t blogged for a long time. In fact my computer’s broken, so I hadn’t been able to do internet. On no, it was really inconvinient. No internet, no life. I fully realised it.

 Okay so let’s get going. I am not sure if this is because a new year has come or not, but I often see most weekly magazines saying like Must-read topics for salarymen in 2010, or something like that on the cover pages. That is, they are talking about some tactics in order for salarymen to get through this recession. Yes, they might be afraid of being dismissed. In other words, they are always under the pressure of laid-off. リストラ[risutora] is the scariest word for most salarymen. “Could it be happening to me tomorrow?”–that might be what they are screaming inside.

 No no, this is not what I want to mention here. Come to think of it, there are quite a few classification for salarymen. First of all, please know we abbreviate it as リーマン[reeman]. If you happen to be a BL fangirl[fujoshi], you might be sure of a genre named リーマンもの[reeman mono], which means a love story by two salarymen. Actually, the salarymen’s circle could be broader…than you think. Let’s see how it is together.

a. ヒラリーマン[hira-reeman]: A salaryman with no title. ヒラ[hira] stems from 平社員[hirashain]. 社員[shain] means an employee. You can also say or ヒラ to mean the same. There is also a funny saying, 社会の底辺[shakai no teihen] or bottom of the society. That is, the lowest rank at the company. 私は社会の底辺にいます[watashi wa shakai no teihen ni imasu] implies I am just a salaryman with no title.

b. チャラリーマン[chara-reeman]: A lazy salaryman who is not interested in the work he is engaged. Also his looking is so shabby that people might think he is a host at the nightclub. チャラ[chara] stems from チャラチャラしている[chara-chara shiteiru] or fool around or play around. Omg, that is me!

c. チャリリーマン[chari-reeman]: A salaryman who goes to work by bike. You think most salarymen take a train, don’t you? Actually there are some salarymen who use a bike. That’s because the gasoline price goes up? In fact, I am a チャリリーマン, too. It is so healthy and enviromentally good, isn’t it? チャリ[chari] stems from チャリンコ[charinko] or a bicycle. If you are going to school by bike, you can say チャリ通[chari tsuu] which means チャリンコ通学[charinko tsuugaku]. 通学[tsuugaku] means commute to school.

d. モバリーマン[moba-reeman]: When you are on the train, you see a salaryman using a computer on his lap, don’t you? モバ[moba] stems from モバイル[mobile]. That is, a salaryman who always carries a computer with him so as to work anytime, anywhere. But this モバ mostly means a computer rather than PSP or mobile phone.

e. マルガリーマン[maruga-reeman]: A shaved-head salaryman. We say 丸刈り[marugari] to shave a head, and 坊主頭[bouzu atama] or a shaved-head. 坊主 means a monk. Before, when a man shaved his head it used to mean his apology for what he did. But because of some cerebrities like David Beckham or whoever, a shaved-head style has become popular among young people. When I was a student at university, I used to see many classmates following the fashion. However, a shaved-head might look so scary and wild that the career advisors didn’t encourage us to do so. Meanwhile, there are some people who like because it looks so fresh and manly. Is there someone like that in Final Fantasy 7?

f.  オタリーマン[ota-reeman]: There is no need to explain, isn’t it? As you imagine, it is an otaku salaryman. Me too, of course. Recently we have seen a couple of works which feature otaku or fujoshi, haven’t we? Even in American TV-series, HEROES there is an オタリーマン. Now is the right time to make a drama series which features an otomen reeman or オトリーマン? lol

g. ブラリーマン[bra-reeman]: Have you ever heard of a men’s bra? They are not to crossdress, but to wear. But what for? Anyway, it is a salaryman who is wearing a bra. Or simply ブラ男[bra-o]. But what for? The thing is, you can see how women feel. Me? Of course I haven’t tried something like this, and never do that. やだ~何それ~きんもーっ☆ まだフンドシの方がマシだよ(苦笑)

h. アフター5[after five]: It is an equivalence of after school. As students play around after school, employees do so after the work. Most companies are supposed to finish at 5 or 6 o’clock. But do we really finish at 5? Sometimes, no, most of the times we have to work overtime. Yes, アフター5 sounds far-fecthed. I would like to say アフター5(笑) 

i. 5時ダッシュ[goji dash]: As soon as a bell rings at 5 o’clock, they start to get away from the company. That is 5時ダッシュ, or such a dasher. Yes, I do 5時ダッシュ because I want to get home as soon as possible. Long time ago, someone like me used to be labelled as 5時から男[goji kara otoko]. もうこんなの死語だよ!覚えなくていいからね(笑)

j. ビフォア9[before 9]: If you can finish the work early, there is a time you have to join a party with someone you don’t like. In this way, your schedule wouldn’t go as you plan. But you can enjoy your time before you start to work, which means before 9 o’clock. Go to gym, take an English lesson, do internet…But I wake up at 6:30 and leave home at 7:00, so I have never enjoyed ビフォア9(笑).

k. 駅モニ[ekimoni]: JR Higashi-nihon food business started a new service for people who go to work without eating breakfast. 駅モニ[ekimoni] is an abbreviation of 駅ナカモーニング[ekinaka morning] or breakfast inside the station. Because of this service, some fast food restaurants or coffee shops started to open earlier than before and get more sets. Also, we say 朝マック[asa-mac] to have breakfast at MacDonald. Come to think of it, I still remember they got a coffee for free in the morning.

l. 重役出勤[jyuyaku shukkin]: You wouldn’t have to go to work that early if you are a higher-rank person like an executive. 重役[jyuyaku] means an executive. They might be able to go to work anytime they want. And no one can complain about it…sigh, I want to do 重役出勤.

 If you are still a teenager, above has nothing to with you, yet. But after you started to work, you might be classified as one of them? But even that, I assume there are some unique sayings in English because of the difference of the cultures. I only know five-o’clock shadow in English, but we do not have the equivalence of it in Japanese. 5時の影なんて言わないですし…似たような表現もありません。So if you know something like this, please teach me. I want to know!



  1. jpmeyer said,

    Is ekimoni a new idea in Japan? In Manhattan, it has been common for a very long time for workers to not eat breakfast before going to work, and instead do ekimoni at fast food places, delis, or food carts.

    Are there a words like these for different kinds of OLs?

    • bangin said,

      The service I mentioned has started since 2006 or so, I think. Before people used to have breakfast at home, but now more and more people buy both breakfast and lunch at the convinience store and eat a rice ball at the desk.

      Now I am a chari-reeman, but before I used to see some salarymen having breakfast at Starbucks or Subway inside the station.

      Actually アフター5 is a word for OLs. Any other words…I should go find.

  2. jpmeyer said,

    Hahahaha, I just got the 寅さん joke in the title.

    • bangin said,

      Oh no! You know Tora-san? Yes I got it to pun upon otoko wa tsuraiyo.

  3. Laura said,

    I can’t think of too many slang terms just about workers in the US, and you probably know all this, but I will tell you just in case you don’t.

    You know “white-collar”, “blue-collar”, and “pink-collar”? That is office work, factory or outside work, and work that is mostly done by women. An office worker who has no supervisory power is an “office drone.”

    There’s “clock-punchers,” for people who have to register their time in and out and all their breaks.

    “Shift work” is work that gets assigned for different times of day. If you are lucky, you are “first shift,” “second shift “or “third shift.” Working third shift is also called working “graveyard.”

    If you are not lucky, you are just a “shift worker” and may work 2 pm-10 pm one day and 6 am to 2 pm the next. That might be because you are a “floater,” a permanent employee who doesn’t have a set time or place to work but is kept on as “fill-in” for people who are not able to come in. If you are not a permanent employee, you are a “temp” or “on contract.”

    Most work places have both “salaried” employees and “hourlies.” It is usually the hourlies who are clock-punchers but I know some salaried workers who are.

    Almost everyone drives to work (only a few places have subways, trains, or dependable bus service). People who share rides to work are “carpoolers.” I guess there aren’t enough of other kinds of commuters for them to have a special name.

    Wednesday is “hump day,” the day that people start thinking about the weekend. And on Friday, people who have 9-5 jobs say “TGIF”–thank God it’s Friday.

    • bangin said,

      Yes, we also say blue-collar in Japanese, but ガテン系[gaten-kei] is often used. ガテン is actually a recruit magazine for blue-collar. And we say スポット[spot] or one-day work.

      And Friday is はなきん[hanakin] to mean a happy Friday since the next day is off. But it’s a very old saying!

      Thank you for telling me so much.^^

  4. Jordan S. said,

    In the UK it’s “TFI Friday” as British people are generally not so polite and Christian. 😉

    • bangin said,

      Oh Friday is special everywhere, isn’t it?

    • Vixi said,

      Untrue =/ Maybe in some circles, but definitely not everywhere. =/ Don’t ruin our reputation T_T;;

      • bangin said,

        I know. Because I have a lot of polite friends from UK. ^^

  5. Narutaki said,

    マルガリーマン That is Yasu from NANA, the picture even looks like him! http://files.nireblog.com/blogs1/o0hana0o/files/yasu0nu5.jpg

    • bangin said,

      Haha, Yasu is a マルガリーマン! Though he is not a salaryman. lol

  6. gordon said,

    • bangin said,

      I can’t copy him! The trouser thing! But I have to get ready in 7 minutes every morning because I don’t want to wake up. Especially in winter, it is too hard.

  7. [Intermisiion] I am okay « Japanese words of anime fans, by anime fans, for anime fans said,

    […] at the park. We waited for the direction which announced what to do. The lucky thing is I am just a チャリリーマン so I could come home. But most people had to stay at the office because the trains were […]

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