Posted by: yoko | June 10, 2005

Words From Childhood 3.6

Today’s word: shakkuri

I’ve had this word in my head for months now, so I might as well set it down here.

If you pronounce this word correctly, you may be able to hear what it represents. The double consonants “kk” are to be pronounced with a glottal stop, so that it sounds like “shak-kuri.”

Give up? Shakkuri is the word for “hiccup.” When I was a kid, it seemed like hiccups would last for hours, and quite painfully. When we were plagued with hiccups, my mom used to call us shakkuri-san, or “Miss Hiccup”– I don’t know why. Favorite ways for curing hiccups were to hold one’s breath, or to be surprised, neither of which worked particularly well.



  1. that is some fantastic Japanese onomotopoeia!

  2. Not to be confused with Shakira.

  3. I love the word hiccup! It’s almost always an onomatopoeia. In Korean it’s ttal-kkuk-jil (tt = palatal stop, kk = glottal stop). The sound of a hiccup is ttal-kkuk, ttal-kkuk.


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