Word of the Week: めんどくさい

It’s time for Word of the Week again (a little early this week as I have plans this weekend that don’t involve blogging)! Last time we looked at a Japanese word or phrase beginning with ‘mu’ (む), focussing on 昔々 (mukashi mukashi), which means ‘once upon a time’. This week I’m looking for a word or phrase beginning with ‘me’ (め). A big thank you for the suggestions this week:

Japan Australia suggested ‘mendokusai’ (めんどくさい), ‘troublesome’, ‘bothersome’; ‘mendoi’ (めんどい), short for ‘mendokusai’; ‘mecha’ (メチャ), a slang word for ‘super’ or ‘ultra’; and ‘mechakucha’ (めちゃくちゃ), a slang word for ‘very’ or ‘insanely’ (e.g. ‘mechakucha oishii’ = ‘insanely delicious’); alisaw also suggested ‘mendokusai’; and Rockin’ suggested ‘me -! ‘ (メっ!), a phrase said by a parent to scold a child which is short for ‘da-me’ (ダメ), meaning ‘bad’ or ‘don’t’ (in this context); and ‘meatarashii’ (目新しい / めあたらしい), ‘original’ or ‘novel’.

There were some really nice, original ideas this week! However, with two votes, this week I decided to write about…



‘Mendokusai’ (めんどくさい) is a great word, although one we shouldn’t use too much for fear of sounding like a whiny teenager. It means ‘troublesome’ or ‘bothersome’, but you can use it in ways you simply wouldn’t in English. It’s usually said in a way that translates more as “What a bother!”, “What a pain in the ass!”, or “I can’t be bothered (to do that)”.

‘Mendokusai’ is actually an informal version of ‘mendou’ (面倒 / めんどう), meaning ‘trouble’ plus ‘kusai’ (くさい), meaning ‘smelly’. Apparently a shortened version of ‘mendokusai’ is ‘mendoi’ (めんどい), although I’ve never actually heard this said myself, and a ‘cute’ way of saying it would be ‘mendocchii’ (めんどっちい).

In a full sentence you would use ‘mendokusai’ with a verb + ‘no wa’. For example: ‘sentaku suru no wa mendokusai desu’ (洗濯するのはめんどくさいです), ‘doing the laundry is a pain in the ass’. However, in reality people often just say ‘mendokusai’ on its own in reaction to a situation.

Here’s a silly little video about ‘mendokusai’:

So, ‘mendokusai’ is a useful, natural-sounding word, but be careful not to overuse it!

Mendokusai cat


(Image source: Google Images)


Next week’s post will be about a word or phrase beginning with ‘mo’ (も), so please leave your suggestions below. The word can be a verb, adjective or expression, but no nouns please! For example, ‘mousugu’ (もうすぐ) meaning ‘very soon’ , would be acceptable, but ‘Morioka’ (盛岡), the place, would not. I look forward to reading your ideas! (*^_^)v

Word of the Week 2014

13 thoughts on “Word of the Week: めんどくさい

  1. こんにちわ!


    01 モテる
    02 モテモテ


    ⬆ これは


  2. 間違いました。

    誤 どんなもんでっしやろ?
    正 どんなもんでっしゃろ?

    誤 どうでっしやろ?
    正 どうでっしゃろ?




  3. Nice post. I’ve never heard めんどっちい, though I probably heard (or read) めんどい once or twice. Actually more than めんどくさい I’ve heard the slang めんどくせ〜.

    Also, another way to use with you sentaku example is 選択,めんどくさい


  4. I think Mendoku has also a much deeper darker meaning.
    Japanese speakers will say this as a warning to their own, that, hey, you’re way out of line Man, Don’t rock the boat!


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