The Worst Japanese Product Name In Recent Memory

The Worst Japanese Product Name in Recent Memory

If Japanese companies are going to use English, "dick" might be a good word to give the shaft. Especially, if it's written as "Dickinin" — which, you know, looks like "dickin' in" or "dick in in". Not exactly the imagery you want to evoke for sore throat medicine.

The Worst Japanese Product Name in Recent Memory

The medicine's commercials features Kill Bill star Chiaki Kuriyama and began last fall in Japan. A new ad aired recently, and Twitter user @JohnnyTheFuture pointed out the medicine's odd English nomenclature.

Sigh. Yes, I know Japan's native language is not English. It's Japanese. And I know some people in Japan have trouble with English. This is more about a truly unfortunate choice!

Why? Because in Japanese the medicine is written as ジキニン or "Jikinin." For decades, the medicine, which launched in 1958, has been branded with its native Japanese language, instead of the truly awkward "Dickinin".

It's even odder when you realise that Jikinin is apparently a shortening of the Japanese "jiki ni naru" (じきに治る) or "cure immediately".

No idea why the pharmaceutical company decided to use the "dick" spelling. The word "dick" isn't as well known as the word "penis" (ペニス or penisu), but the term does find its way into adult videos. You'd think enough people would know the word to prevent a cock up like this from happening!

The Worst Japanese Product Name in Recent Memory

How do you spell your product's name in English? [@JohnnyTheFuture]

Photos: 全薬工業株式会社


    Every single time I read a Bashcraft article I shudder at what he must have typed into a search engine to find his 'stories'.

    Oh god the puns in this article...

    For those who want a real explanation, here it is:
    It's a result of converting to and from languages multiple times. The original "じきに治る" Jiki ni naoru (The article missed the "o" in "naoru") got shortened to "ジキニン" losing its original meaning. The issue here is the English pronunciation, because while ジ is read as Ji, Ji can be then be rewritten in Japanese as either ジ or ヂ. This causes more confusion since ヂ can be pronounced and typed on a keyboard as both Ji and Di, which gives us our Dikinin.

    That being said, where the C came from I have no clue, probably someone's idea of a joke that the Japanese didn't understand or notice.

    Last edited 13/12/13 11:42 pm

    Oh god I've seen an ad for this product every day for weeks on the train but never actually noticed the name. Too busy looking at Chiaki instead...

    It's not worse than calpis-besides, what's wrong with having dickinin Chiaki Kuriyama?

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