“My” Phrases in Japanese English/「マイ」から始まる和製英語


Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, literally “Japanese-made English”), which means words that seem to be English (eigo), but are not. These words came from English originally, but the meaning has been changed to a distinctly Japanese meaning.

Today’s wasei eigo theme is phrases that begin with “my”.

My Pace/mai peesu/マイペース

In English, hearing this expression would translate into something like “to do something at my own pace.” In Japanese, it means to do something one’s own way, without influence from other people. It can be used as an adverb or a verb, but it’s most commonly used to describe someone’s attitude.


“Tanaka is my pace.” or “Tanaka does it his own way.”

My Boom/mai buumu/マイブーム

My boom is a phrase that doesn’t exactly translate into English. “Boom” in the phrase “my boom” refers to an explosion in popularity, and is not often used this way in English (at least not in my neck of the woods). While boom refers to a current trend in society, my boom means that it is your own personal current trend. One example is when my husband orders almond milk tea boba every time we go to the boba cafe recently.


“Lately, almond milk tea is my boom.” or “Lately, almond milk tea is my favorite.”

My Bag/mai baggu/マイバッグ

In English, “my bag” would refer to your own personal gym bag, purse, or any sort of cloth receptacle you could carry items in. In Japanese, “my bag” refers to reusable bags for grocery shopping. Yay, environmentally-minded shopping!


“Oh man, I forgot my bag in the car.” or “Oh man, I forgot the reusable bags in the car.”

Try out these phrases to add a little flair to your Japanese!

Do you know any other wasei eigo phrases that begin with “my”? Let me know in the comments!







“Tanaka does things at his own pace.”


マイブームは直接に英語で言うと、ちょっと変なイメージが出て来ます。英語で「ブーム」は爆発の音だから爆弾のイメージが頭に出て来るよ。ブームは英語で「人気がある」という意味があんまり使えません。「マイブーム」より「マイトレンド」(my trend)や「マイフェボリット」(my favorite)を使えばいいと思います。例えば、私の旦那さんが最近いつもアーモンドミルクティーしか頼まないから、これをよく言います:


“Lately, almond milk tea is my favorite.”


英語で「マイバッグ」を言えば、自分のかばんについて話してる感じですよ。女の子のかばんでも、リュックでも、何のかばんでも「マイバッグ」って言えます。和製英語のマイバッグだと、イコバッグ(eco bag)を言えばいいと思います。後リサイクラブルバッグ(recyclable bag)でも使えます。


“Oh man, I forgot the reusable bags in the car.”


5 thoughts on ““My” Phrases in Japanese English/「マイ」から始まる和製英語

  1. Chelsea

    this post cracks me so much, i love it. my mother & i are always talking about this & how goofy japanese people can be when it comes to their nicknames or phrases that involve english words! great post!


    • I really love the way Japanese play with English, and with Japanese! I’ve tried to use some of the phrases with English speaks, but I usually get weird looks, even if I think it makes sense. Thanks for reading ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This one is very funny. I still don’t recognize some of Japanese English words that don’t make sense in real English sometimes. Haha.
    Me and my friend were talking about Japanese made English today and there was “ヘビーユーザー,” directly translation would be “heavy user,” by which means that using a lot. That was quite funny too. Languages are always interesting to talk:)


    • I think that Japanese English is one of my favorite things about Japanese ^^ It’s always interesting to learn a new use for familiar English words. “ヘビーユーザー” is a funny phrase to say in English, and I think it might have a bad association with using illegal drugs (o.o) In English I think we would say “hardcore” like in “hardcore gamer.” Although that is also slang in English. Thanks for reading ^^

      Liked by 1 person

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