My brother-in-law and his wife (my sister-in-law-in-law?) are here from the NYC suburbs for thanksgiving. In an effort to show them that we don’t live in a cultural wasteland — which, ya know, compared to NYC, we pretty much do — we showed them my audiotron which gets a variety of international radio stations. As she is Japanese-American, we put on “Osaka Hit Radio” and some other Japanese AM (and web-broadcast) radio station.
My brother-in-law has made various half-hearted attempts to learn Japanese both to better communicate with his in-laws and because he works in a law firm with a lot of Japanese clients. Because of these attempts, his wife will sometimes ask if he could understand some word or phrase — a habit she engaged during a pause while the audiotron re-buffered the stream.
“Did you understand that last word?” she asked and then repeated it for him to hear again, “Homo paji.” My brother-in-law thought about it for a bit, but couldn’t recall it from his studies.
“Home page,” she said, smiling.
Apparently, when the Japanese adopt English words into their language, they add vowel sounds to the end of each syllable. Beer becomes beeru (said like some excited by the idea — “beer oooh”), ice cream sounds like ice-uh cream-ooh. But even knowing that in advance, I too was unable to initially parse homo paji. Oh well.
Welcome to my homo paji, “Choicy-oh White-uh Boy-ooh”