What Should You Say? – 5 Practical Japanese Onomatopoeias Related to Pain

What Should You Say? – 5 Practical Japanese Onomatopoeias Related to Pain

Learning a new language can be tough especially when people speak fast and use a lot of local lingos.
Japanese, as complicated as it may seem, can be picked up easily if you have the dedication and the know-how.
One of the more difficult things to get are the sounds.
There are a lot of onomatopoeias in Japan usually spoken at a rapid speed.
Now, let’s explore some onomatopoeias related to pain.
Because, you know, telling your doctor where it hurts and how it hurts is important!

1. “Hiri-hiri” – Stinging or burning

Think about sunburn.
You got a nasty sunburn while relaxing under the sun after a particularly busy week, and now your skin is not only dry but stingy.
It hurts when you touch it.
That, my friends, is hiri-hiri skin.
If you’re like me, you will make yourself a nice margarita to cure your skin, but then you’ll accidentally cut your finger a little, only to find it drenched in lime juice.
Now you have a hiri-hiri finger to go with your hiri-hiri skin.
More margaritas for everyone!

2. “Gan-gan” – Pounding

Sadly, the margaritas made everyone drunk.
Thus, hangovers are in full swing.
How can you explain the headache to a friend?
“Gan-gan.”
Pounding.
Ironically, it can also be used to express doing something very hard.
So I gan-gan drank margaritas to get over my hiri-hiri finger, and now my head is gan-gan hurting.
A vicious cycle, these onomatopoeias!

3. “Chiku-chiku” – Prickly or scratchy

Everyone survived the margarita fest and the hangovers have passed.
Too bad you all slept in slightly old, unwashed futons covered in cat hair, so everyone now is feeling all chiku-chiku.
You know, that feeling when your skin is scratchy or prickly painful because you are wearing underwear from the 100 Yen shop, or you poked your finger with a sewing needle.
The word you are looking for is “chiku-chiku.”
(But don’t poke your fingers with a sewing needle, that is simply stupid.)

4. “Zuki-zuki” – Throbbing

This word is quite useful for those who play sports or are accident-prone.
Throbbing.
Throbbing nasty pain, like after stubbing your toe running to the shower to clean your chiku-chiku skin, or eating slightly suspect, very discounted sushi.
Now you are sitting on the toilet with a zuki-zuki toe, nursing your zuki-zuki stomach, dreaming of getting drunk by gan-gan drinking margaritas.

5. “Jin-jin” – Tingly

You rested your zuki-zuki toe by raising your legs on a pillow, and now they have fallen asleep and are feeling jin-jin.
You decide to wake yourself up and go for a run outside in search of margaritas, of course, only to find that the temperature is -2 degrees Celsius.
You have no gloves, and now your hands are jin-jin in the cold air.

Now that you know these interesting and useful Japanese onomatopoeias, feel free to use them anytime you want to express your feeling of pain or discomfort.
But hopefully, it doesn’t get to a point that you would have to use these 5 onomatopoeias all at the same time.