Friday, March 27, 2009

Width Doesn't Enter Into It, Methinks

"Kabuya" means "wide boys"? In which regional dialect?

Wide girl
The Economist

Mrs Watanabe is tiptoeing back into Japan's stockmarket

Mar 26th 2009 TOKYO - "NOT trusted" is how Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso described stockbrokers this month, before calling them kabuya, or "wide boys". And with the Tokyo stockmarket scraping 26-year-lows in mid-March before soaring 20% in the past fortnight, the reputation of equities as an investment is shoddy at best. Yet some Japanese investors are throwing caution to the wind and beginning to buy...
Kabu - ya: "share" + "the house thereof."

Ergo, "the house of the selling and buying of shares."

You know, like "yaoya" or "sobaya."

Or perhaps the prime minister just wanted to say kabu o yatte iru to -- "those who are doin' shares" -- a kind of loose-limbed, free form expression meant to be equivalent to the more formal"kabu torihiki" ("the selling and buying of shares on an exchange").

Or so I might have thought.

Now, with the authoritative pages of The Economist telling me otherwise, I must face the possibility that all is not as simple as I supposed.

As for the prime minister's assertion that those in the countryside believe that those who buy and sell shares are shady, well, given that he has heretofore been a reliable source of information and analysis on all subjects he has pontificated upon, he must know.

I defer to his authority.


Maxamillian said...

I think the Economist might be using "wide boy" in the sense of the British slang term.

TheStrawMan said...

Ah yes, that makes a bit more sense now...

I didn't know Kabuya in Japanese had that connotation...