So, thanks to Wikipedia, everyone knows the difference between an acronym and an initialism. Well, everyone, if you're so smart, what do you call a sequence of three English letters derived from an entire Sino-Japanese word and the first letters of the Roman-character spellings of two other words, one Japanese and one borrowed from English?

Because that, my friends, describes the hip new catchphrase "QBK". It is short for kyū ni bōru ga kita [no de] (急にボールが来た[ので]), which means "the ball suddenly came (up to where I was)[, so...]". This was the lamentably ill-put post-game excuse offered by Japanese forward Yanagisawa for completely botching an easy shot at goal in the game against Croatia (YouTube). For obvious reasons, it inspired little understanding or sympathy back here on the home front. (Of course, there are conflicting reports as to what actually happened.)

So far, I've only heard it used by people referring to Yanagisawa specifically. It remains to be seen whether QBK has what it takes to get general and stay in the language, say as a "my bad"-style acknowledgment of a stupid mistake.

Popularity factor: 2


Man, that was an embarrassing shot. At least it inspired him to make a contribution to the language.


Personally, I blame Zico. Clearly he didn't make it clear enough to the team that balls would be arriving suddenly.

Comment season is closed.