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Thread: イケメン - how is it generally used?

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Aarowaim's Avatar
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    イケメン - how is it generally used?

    Hey everyone!

    I'm translating a pretty cool manga about art, and I bumped into a slang term that has practically opposite meanings. That word, is イケメン, which seems to mean 'extremely ugly guy' or a 'cool guy', as in a hunk. I figured out how to translate it, but I'd like your input about this word, just so that I can understand where the opposite meanings came from, maybe its etymology. Basically, I'm curious about the word.

    Here's the page:
    Spoiler show


    I'm fairly certain that it's the positive connotation of イケメン being used here, as it doesn't make sense in any other way (and I don't want to believe one of my favourite characters is an asshole). Of course, in the next page, the lady starts talking forcefully about how important her dad was to her, so it's kind of ambiguous.

    If you'd like to read the manga, it's called GOKUSAI, and so far, it's pretty cool. The protagonist, Lilo, dresses like a punk and paints pretty gloomy pictures, but she isn't too angsty. The manga is about her interactions with a poor but talented artist named Jou Karaba, who has a pet Shiba Inu (or something like that...) name Picasso.
    There is a fine line between bad and good, and an even finer line between good and great.
    Even the most impossible dreams can become possible with time.

  2. #2
    Translator/Moderator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    いけ(て)る good + 面 face / メン men --->  イケメン (good looking; handsome) :美男子; ハンサム; 二枚目
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    Intl Translator 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Sohma Riku's Avatar
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    Quote Quote:
    That word, is イケメン, which seems to mean 'extremely ugly guy' or a 'cool guy', as in a hunk.
    To be honest, I never heard of anyone using the term "Ikemen" to mean something like "extremely ugly"...
    I guess it sometimes bears a connotation with "asshole" (because the handsome characters is overconfident and acts as an asshole,or when he's loathes by a less attractive character), but even then the words itself still refers to how handsome that person actually is.

    Considering it's use in the manga, I'm positive it doesn't bear a such a negative connotation though. It's really just a compliment, it's like "Oh, he looked pretty handsome actually."

  4. #4
    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Aarowaim's Avatar
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    Ah, alright then. My dictionary pops 逝け面 up, but considering that it isn't instantly offered by my IME, it must not be a very common term. Thanks for the perspective, because it was confusing me a little bit. I'm not the most experienced in slang and colloquial language, so thank you both for helping me out ^_^
    There is a fine line between bad and good, and an even finer line between good and great.
    Even the most impossible dreams can become possible with time.

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    Intl Translator 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Sohma Riku's Avatar
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    Oh, that makes me wonder what dictionary you use. Anyway, I've googled the term (with those kanji) and you're right. It actually exist! Not sure how old the site it I looked at, but it says it a new word. I guess it's made up by someone who wants to point out that the pretty boys have a shitty personality or something? (I have no idea, but it would make sense.)

    But, unless the word is actually written with those kanji, I doubt it'll have that meaning. ^-^ So, in this case it really means "handsome".

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    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Utsune's Avatar
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    Lol that's an interesting dictionary you have there

    逝け面 would be the result of a phenomenon kind of like those meme culture you see on the Internet so often... Some terms (specifically punny Japanese Internet lingo) (or in the case of English memes, phrases that aren't necessarily grammatically correct lol) made up relatively recently and hardly/never used offline unless you're in-the-know with the Internet trend... With 逝け面, it's mainly a pun to poke fun of the more popular usage of the homophone イケメン... It actually doesn't even work offline afaik because it sounds the same as the overwhelmingly popular term イケメン. It's kinda like, I highly doubt a character would suddenly go around saying "You're good guy Greg" to random people as this would be confusing and they'd be like "Who's Greg"... Hope this serves as a bit of insight :P

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member Aarowaim's Avatar
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    Re: イケメン - how is it generally used?

    lol, I guess that the Japanese internet is nearly as much more quirky than the English one.

    Well, I'm currently using midori, a recompiled iphone version of JDICT. For some weird reason, I guess they decided not to show tags, such as obsc (obscure) which appear in WWWJDIC... Hmmm, well, that's the fun thing about a dictionary that isn't official; it regularly sends me on goosehunts to figure out the context of a word. The one thing that truly redeems midori is that it's an excessively stable app, and it has kanji/kana handwriting recognition. So there you go, a WWJDIC clone with absolutely no filter >.<

    Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to get lost off the beaten path.
    There is a fine line between bad and good, and an even finer line between good and great.
    Even the most impossible dreams can become possible with time.

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