2007
03.11

And Then?

Today’s word of the day: 落(おち)

According to my dictionary it means ‘joke punch line’, although from the context I learnt the word while talking to friends, the meaning can also seemingly mean the twist/ending to a story.

This all came about when somebody said something and other people were expecting something else to follow. It went roughly like this:

Aさん:  それで?
Bさん:  それだけ…
Aさん:  おちがない!



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  1. Yeah.. everyone expects me to do ‘ochi’ though.
    I just don’t care about it.
    How about English?

  2. Osaka people in particular seem to feel the need for an Ochi or punch-line.
    In this respect I think an Ochi is more like the point of the whole conversation. Imagine a case in English where someone just stops at the end of their story with no apparent ending or conclusion.. wouldn’t that leave you scratching your head?
    it is very common in my experience anyway for a Japanese person, not just from Osaka to turn around to you and say those immortal words 『ちょっと意味わからん』simply because you forgot to include the occhi.
    Only recently during preparation for a Japanese speech contest, I had loads of Japanese people advising me to add Ochi here and there at the end of paragraphs.
    Seeing as it’s a practice that does not come naturally it is something even now that I find myself working on for long periods of times even after conversations have ended.
    My advice, use Japanese comedy programs for practice. The comedians always include an ochi although of course in this case it is probably used more as a comedic device rather than to just give meaning to their conversation.
    Finally the roots of ochi can be found going as far back as the 18th century and also in forms of Japanese entertainment like ‘Rakugo’ for example where Ochi is used to provide a kind of moral to a story.

  3. Yuichi-san,
    I don’t think you always need to have a ‘punch line’ for everything you say. Obviously, though, you tend to tell friends about unusual things which happen to you, so I’m sure we use ‘ochi’ a great deal without thinking about it.
    Thanks for your detailed comments, Chris. So this a case of delivering the ending to a story, instead of implying it? Or just a case of avoiding pointless stories with no real ending?
    Whenever I watch Japanese comedy I tend to get lost pretty quickly, especially with Kansai-ben.

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