Ojousan vs. Oneesan

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Ojousan vs. Oneesan 2011/5/17 20:38
I was at work, and while I was walking in the hallway away from the main office, I met an elderly lady (in her 60's) going towards the office. She was looking for a co-worker.

When she met me, she called me a "kawaii ojousan" & then asked if I worked there.

What I want to know is why she would call me "ojousan" instead of simply "oneesan" or something else. Do older people use that term more often?

I thought it was only used for rich people, & I'm definitly not rich...

by Elseve (guest)  

Ojousan vs. Oneesan 2011/5/18 10:27

"Ojousan" is usually used in Japanese to mean "young lady" or "daughter", so it sounds like the obvious term for a 60-something woman to call you - assuming you are much younger than her. "Oneesan" is mostly used to refer to girls older than yourself, so it would have been strange if she had called you that - again assuming you are much younger than her.

by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/18 14:07
Oneesan/oniisan are commonly used to address to young women/men in general, especially by the eldery people.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/5/18 15:21
"Ojousan" is usually referred to a young unmarried woman/girl to early 20's. Also it can be referred to an inexperienced/innocent/spoiled looking.
"Oneesan" is one's older sister(not yours, which is referred often as "ane" to others) or that a young child may call you if you are older & in 20's. Also a man may call to get attention of a young waitress.
You feel old, if called obasan.
Then comes "obaasan".
by ay (guest) rate this post as useful

A term some people just don't use 2011/5/19 01:31

In that context of a 60 something uptown woman addressing a young woman, "oneesan" would be bit of a less classier term.


Chotto ojousan: Excuse me, miss.
Chotto oneesan: Hey, lady.

Kawaii ojousan: My, you're a pretty young lady.
Kawaii oneesan: Hey girl, you're lookin' good.

by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

! 2011/5/20 12:07
I love your examples, Uco-San.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

I see... 2011/5/21 10:52
Thank you for your responses!
It's clearer to me now :)

Elderly people have called me "oneesan" before, but Uco's probably right about the lady being an uptown woman so she simply doesn't use the term "oneesan."

by Elseve (guest) rate this post as useful

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