Posted by: yoko | April 5, 2005

Words From Childhood 3.4

Today’s word: goshigoshi

As you can tell, goshigoshi is one of those repetitive onomatopoeic words that I like so much. It’s the word to describe scrubbing, particularly when washing.

When my sister and I were very young, we used to take baths together. My mom (and sometimes my dad) would wash us with a washcloth, and I seem to remember goshigoshi said for scrubbing our backs. After washing our bodies, we would wash our hair, and my mom would rinse our hair by holding onto us as we tilted our heads back into the water as she scrubbed our heads. I vividly remember the smell of Johnson & Johnson’s baby soap and shampoo.

Once the bath was done, we would dry off, then put our towels on my parents’ bed and get powdered. Then we would put on our pajamas, and then suffer through hair combing and ear cleaning. Bedtime followed soon after.


  1. your childhood stories always make me smile. I love the way goshigoshi looks in Japanese.

  2. I can always count on your childhood word entries for the really useful ones you can never learn from a textbook.

  3. I love these posts too. When are you going to do a whole post on doubled Japanese words?

  4. Perhaps I’ll do a whole post on these kind of words (called giongo or gitaigo in Japanese) as a special edition sometime soon. There are so many of these words, that there are whole dictionaries devoted to them. My mom definitely used a lot of these words and they’ve stuck in my childhood memories.


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