Wednesday, October 22 2008

〜だらけ

All the J-E dictionaries I’ve checked either insist or at least imply that the suffix -darake (“full of ~; covered with ~”) always has a negative meaning. Certainly the vast majority of uses are negative, but the reason I looked it up in the first place was a clearly positive example, an illustrated guide to the Imperial Japanese Army called ドキッ乙女だらけの帝國陸軍入門 (literally, “exciting filled-with-maidens imperial army introduction”).

It came up in class this week in one of the standard examples, 血だらけ, “covered in blood”. Mud, idiots, lies, mistakes, demons, and holes are also very commonly used with this suffix, but a quick search of Amazon Japan turns up book titles featuring cats, dreams, cat stickers, angels, women, haiku, mysteries, riddles, and, in the adult DVD section, a variety of special-interest items.

So, usually negative, but can be positive in anything from children’s books to fetish porn.