Hello from Japan! It’s Junko. The Japanese word OSU has four meanings. Spellings and Kanji characters for them are all different. About which OSU do you want to know? With this post, I’ll explain all four meanings of OSU!
OSU = male
Written in Katakana or a single Kanji character. This Osu means “male” and is used for animals, insects, and plants only. I mean you can’t use it for humans.
OSU = push, press
Here are some examples of the usage.
扉を押す (Tobira wo osu) = Push the door
ボタンを押す (Botan wo osu) = Press the button
はんこを押す (Hanko wo osu) = Press the stamp
OSU = recommend
This Osu means to recommend someone or something. Recently, young people got to use “OSU” to show their favorite people or characters they’re addicted in. The word OSHI is frequently used as a noun. Please note OSHI is a kind of geeky slang and we don’t use it in the formal scene. I think elder Japanese even can’t understand the meaning since it’s a new word born just several years ago.
A greeting phrase for martial arts
OSU is a traditional greeting phrase among martial arts players like Karate, Judo, and Kendo. It’s said Ohayo Gozaimasu was shortened and became OSU, but the fact is unclear. Anyway, OSU is a very common and familiar phrase for men. It’s a manly phrase and girls don’t say it.
Son Goku in Dragon Ball says “Ossu! Ora Goku!” in Japanese. This OSSU is the same as OSU!
OSU = vinegar
The word SU alone means vinegar in Japanese. But in daily conversation, we call vinegar OSU. The first O is written in Hiragana letter. O is a prefix for saying something politely and used for other things as well. For example, Shoyu (soy sauce) is called OSHOYU, and Miso is called OMISO.
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