Since this got such favorable reviews, I’ve decided to make this a weekly feature until I run out of words. I’m finding there are a lot of them, though, if I think hard enough.
Today’s word: yoisho!
I’ve seen this translated as “heave-ho!” This is the exclamation used when playing tug-of-war, for instance–teams will shout this with great rhythm– yoi-sho! yoi-sho! But it’s also used when picking up something heavy, or picking yourself up from sitting, so it could also be translated as “oof!” or “oopsy-daisy!”
I remember this word from when I was really young, because it’s the word my mother would use to pick me up. Words in Japanese sometimes have a rhyming nonsense word tacked on (compare this to adding “schm-” to words, like “taxes, schmaxes”), so my mom would often say “yoisho dokkoisho!” to boost me up.