Word of the Week: ルンルン

It’s time for Word of the Week again! Last time we looked at a Japanese word or phrase beginning with ‘ri’ (り), focussing on リア充 (riaju), which means something like ‘real lifer’; one who has a satisfying and full real life, as opposed to their online life. This week, I’m looking for a word or phrase beginning with ‘ru’ (る). A big thank you for the suggestions I received this week (it was a tough one, wasn’t it?):

locksleyu suggested ‘runrun’ (るんるん), ‘happy’, ‘euphoric’, ‘bouncy’; and Japan Australia suggested ‘ruminarie’ (ルミナリエ), ‘illumination’, such as the Kobe Luminarie (神戸ルミナリエ).

In the end I decided to write about…



‘Runrun’, despite how it looks to the English eye, is nothing to do with running. It’s a word I hadn’t heard before, but apparently it means ‘euphoric’, ‘happy’, ‘buoyant’ or ‘bouncy’. If you add ‘kibun’ (気分) to make ‘runrun kibun’ (ルンルン気分) it means ‘euphoric mood’ or ‘exuberant mood’.

As far as I can tell ‘runrun’ is usually written in katakana (ルンルン) rather than hiragana (るんるん), although both ways of writing it do appear in the dictionary at jisho.org.

According to this Japanese blogger, ‘runrun’ is a word used mainly by women. Men are less likely to use this word because it sounds cute. I guess it’s a bit like ‘wakuwaku’ (ワクワク), a word meaning ‘I’m excited’ which I think is used mostly by young people, and possibly more by women than men.

On this site one of the translations of ‘runrun’ was ‘happy as a clam’, which really is an odd phrase. I believe the full phrase is ‘happy as a clam at high tide’; clams can only be dug up during low tide, so a clam at high tide is safe and happy. In that case, I was feeling pretty ‘runrun’ yesterday when I came home after a really good day of Christmas shopping and found the Salvation Army playing Christmas carols outside my house. I felt content and happy to be alive – ルンルン.



(Image source)


Next week will be about a word or phrase beginning with ‘re’ (れ), so please leave your suggestions below. The word can be a verb, adjective or expression (slang and dialect are fine too!), but no nouns please! I look forward to reading your ideas! (*^_^)v

Only three more weeks to go and this series will be at an end! Please join in with your ideas while you can! 

Word of the Week 2014

7 thoughts on “Word of the Week: ルンルン

  1. I love ルンルン! It’s so cute and fun to use. I really like this series, and it’s too bad I didn’t find it until so late in the series progression. I’ll have to catch up!

    My suggestion for れ is レベルアップする. I like the ways this is used and I like to use it often myself. Looking forward to the next installment!


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