Saturday, May 30, 2009

For those who want to be a complete douche-bag on a Saturday or any other days, perhaps a little karate, this is the shirt for you.


Who cares what those characters mean or even if they are correct. When you got this shirt on, you are so badass, even Chuck Norris would cover his nuts.

$21.97 at Palmer Cash by Vintage Vantage.

Alan forwarded me a link to a British apparel company called Superdry.

We are certainly not experts on the subject of brandnaming, but "Superdry" automatically equates to anti-perspirant or deodorant in the world of marketing (Back us up on this, Steve!).

The phrase (しなさい) is very strange in Japanese, especially with しなさい in parentheses.

It seems like someone was told to translate “Superdry” into Japanese, but the translator could not decide whether it is supposed to be an adjective meaning “extremely dry” or a sentence meaning “dry extremely well” so they just fudged it and left the imperative form しなさい [shinasai] in parentheses, indicating their uncertainty.

It is just so random that this uncertain translation was immortalized in the logo without any subsequent editing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

from: Joseph B.
date: Wed, May 13, 2009 at 10:45 PM
subject: Does this tat really mean this?

Love your website and had to ask you.

The owner of this tat claims it says "Only god will judge me", is this true? I have heard it means something about being a slave??

Thanks for your help!!!!


Does this tat really mean this??

The top character may intended to be (large or great), however it is the wrong character, .

In Japanese, 大帝 refers to a "great emperor", which does not mean Christian God. is used when referring to the Christian God. Other words for God are (literally "the Lord") and 天主 ("the Lord in Heaven").

上帝 is used in Chinese when referring to Christian God. 真主 and 阿拉 typically used for Allah, the Islamic name for God. Funny thing is that 阿拉 means "we" or "I" in Shanghai dialect.

大帝, 玉帝, and 玉皇 are variants of 玉皇大帝, Jade Emperor, from Chinese Taoism mythology. The Goa'uld System Lord Yu from Stargate SG-1 is based on this. Ironically the production company did not cast a Chinese actor for this role, rather Vincent Crestejo.

The verb 裁く [sabaku] does mean "to judge" and [boku] is a common word that Japanese males refer to themselves, meaning "me" or "I". means "to cut" in Chinese and sometimes it is associated with tailoring. means only "servant" in Chinese.

But unfortunately, the grammar and word order of the sentence 大帝裁僕 is not proper for Japanese, so it looks sort of "Chinese" to a Japanese person. A Japanese person could possibly try to read it in 漢文 style, giving the sentence:

大帝は僕を裁く [Taitei ha boku wo sabaku.]

The character is also read "shimobe" meaning manservant, so the phrase could also mean:

"The great emperor judges the manservant"


"The great emperor's tailor"

It doesn't really mean what it is supposed to mean, in either Japanese or Chinese.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I have received several emails from readers to inform me about one webisode from NBC's The Office.


In the video, Andy Bernard made an announcement that claimed his tattoo is "nard dog".

Although it is not exactly "nard dog", "n " (n dog) is close enough.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Alan and I are very curious about this Madsteel woman's tattoos:

We have no idea what those six characters across the top of her back mean.

The same person also posted many of her photos in, like this one:

What does 喜 and 壽 have to do with Madsteel?

The most interesting ones are on her feet:

I don't think 鉄狂 has any significance in Chinese. (If she had 鉄拳 from the video game Tekken tattooed on her hands, that would be awesome.)

Alan's guess is that it could be "railway fan" or "railway maniac" in Japanese. Railway workers call them "foamers" (those guys that know the names and car types of every single piece of railcar traveling over the rails and Details magazine recently had an article about these railway fans.)

Remember the movie Trainspotting? In Japanese, railway is 鉄道 and 狂い is a common suffix for a maniacal fan of something, so 鉄道狂い could be shortened to 鉄狂.

Judging from the name of the poster, we guess her feet tattoo are supposed to be a sort of
translation of "Madsteel" but if so, shouldn't it be in the order 狂鉄? Notice this young lady has the same two characters tattooed on both feet, but in opposite order.

Also, is only iron and steel should be .

Interestingly enough, there is a Japanese punk song by バミューダ バガボンド (Bermuda Vagabond) with the same title.