Word of the Week: 猫背 (nekoze)

Posted: 11th Apr 2024

Hello and welcome to the Ippo Ippo Japanese Word of the Week!

This Week's Word Is...


  • In hiragana: ねこぜ
  • In rōmaji: nekoze

Before We Begin

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What Does 猫背 (nekoze) Mean?

猫背 (nekoze) is made up of two words:

  • 猫 (neko) - cat
  • 背 (se*) - back

*In this word, the sound changes to "ze".

If you think of the shape of a cat's back - particularly when it's sitting - you might be able to imagine the meaning of this word: a hunched or rounded back!

Depending on the context, 猫背 (nekoze) could also be used to describe a slouch or slouched posture.

How Do You Pronounce 猫背 (nekoze)?

Visit Forvo to hear examples of how to pronounce this word.

How to Use 猫背 (nekoze) in a Sentence

Here are some examples of how to use 猫背 (nekoze) in a sentence.

Example Sentences

  1. 僕は猫背です。(Boku* wa nekoze desu - I have a hunched/rounded back)
  2. 彼は猫背で姿勢が悪い。(Kare wa nekoze de shisei ga warui - He has a hunched/rounded back and bad posture)
  3. 彼女は年をとって猫背になった。(Kanojo wa toshi wo totte nekoze ni narimashita - As she got old, her back became hunched/rounded)
  4. お母さんがいつも私に猫背だと言ってきますが、なおしかたがわかりません。(Okaasan ga itsumo watashi ni nekoze da to ittekimasu ga, naoshikata ga wakarimasen - My mum always tells me I'm slouching but I don't know how to fix it)

*Typically speaking, this is a masculine word for "I". A more neutral alternative would be 私 (watashi) or, more casually, うち (uchi).


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