Onomatopoeia Ji: Intrusive and Permeable

In this post let me give you some examples of Onomatopoeic words starting with Ji (or Zi). “Ji” sound mostly indicates something intruding and permeating. Imagine a sizzling, frizzling noise that the bacon makes on the grill.


じわじわ jiwa jiwa
meaning: infectious, contagious (humor, etc.)
kono yuuchuubu no bideo mite. jiwajiwa konai?
Look at this YouTube video! It’s infectiously funny, isn’t it?

じろじろ jiro jiro
meaning: to stare at someone/something in a rude or lewd manner
asoko no hito, sakki kara nanka kocchi jirojiro miterun dakedo.
Did you notice that guy? He’s staring at us for a while.

じりじり jiri jiri
meaning: scorching, sizzling (hot, heat, etc.)
kyo mo, jirijiri yakeruyouna atsusa desune
It’s another scorching hot day, isn’t it?

meaning: (get close to something, edge up, edge through, etc.) inch by inch, slowly but surely
kidukarenai yoni, jirijiri chikaduite itte odokashitara, ookina koede sakebu kara, kocchi ga bikkuri shichaimashitayo
Well, I edged up to her and gave her a surprise, and she let out a loud scream, which gave me a real fright.