It’s not “hip,” folks, it’s “butt!” 日本人よ、お尻は「Hip」ではない!

I’m on a one-woman mission to disavow the Japanese people of their belief that the English for oshiri お尻 (bottom, butt, ass, buttock) is “hip.” Believe me, this misconception is widespread. If you need convincing, consider that I found the photograph below by searching Google images in Japanese for hippu ヒップ, a loan word taken from the English word "hip."

Now, that is not what a native English speaker would describe as a “hip.” That is clearly a “bottom,” “butt,” or a “pair of buttocks.” If you don’t mind being a little vulgar, “ass” (or “arse” if you’re British) would do fine too.

I tried searching “hands on hips” and got this picture below. I think that’s the pose most native English speakers would take if you told them to stand with their hands on their hips.

Next, I searched with ヒップに手を当てて (“hands on hippu“). Here’s what came up.

My friend Izumi was once told by a doctor in America to put her hands on her hips. When she put them on her bottom, he laughed and redirected them to her hip bones. Convinced, folks? O-shiri is not “hip!”

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10 Responses to It’s not “hip,” folks, it’s “butt!” 日本人よ、お尻は「Hip」ではない!

  1. Higanbana says:

    Haha, you are so right. Btw. probably because of that misconception many people, also among my friends believe that fat/huge butts promise an easy birth.

  2. Melanie says:

    I could not believe it! But you are just right with that, it seems. I had to ask my Japanese husband to put his hands on his hips, and he really had them on his lower backside … Thank you for a good laugh in the morning!
    By the way: The embarrassed man gave me an explanation of this phenomenon. There seems to be no Japanese word for the actual hips. And during the area just above is translated into something different, there was only the bottom left for a demonstration of where the hips would be. Or so he said.

  3. Dear Melanie, I’m glad you got a good morning laugh. Please ask your embarrassed man to put his hands over his kokansetsu 股関節 and let us know what happens. Alice

  4. Melanie says:

    Dear Alice,

    thanks again – I blushed. He placed his hands somewhere … private. Explaining about joints. So it would seem in a man’s understanding a hip is not a joint and the joint is somewhere … to the middle. Or so. Where it moves, he says – and I hope he did not think about movements at the place his hands indicated, but really the hip joint he talked about …

  5. Uh oh…now you’re BOTH embarrassed! But it’s interesting, isn’t it?

  6. Melanie says:

    Weh-ell.
    No, I am not embarrassed. I know my husband not to be the most … physical guy. :-))) It is indeed interesting. I’ll talk to my in-laws about the matter next month, I want to know more. Or would you know more misunderstood body parts?

  7. Can’t think of any right now. Readers?

  8. Lurker says:

    Not a body part, but what about “anemia”?

  9. nanashi says:

    Isn’t “hip” often “腰(koshi)?” Unfortunately, it’s often “waist,” too…
    Thanks for the warning about this, yikes.

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