Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 9: 21/23


What is called, So-called, Generally known


いわゆる + Noun


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About いわゆる

いわゆる, occasionally seen in its kanji form 所謂(いわゆる), is a word that is used before nouns to indicate that something is 'what is called (A)', 'the so-called (A)', or 'generally known as (A)'.
いわゆる is a combination of いわ, a modern variant of いは, the indeterminate form of ()う 'to say', and ゆる, which is the classical literary equivalent of the auxiliary verb れる, the displacement verb indicator in its attributive form. In this way, the literal meaning of 'what is said to be (A)' is carried over into the English translations.
  • ハンバーガーやフライドポテトはいわゆるジャンクフードだ。
    Hamburgers and French fries are so-called junk food.
  • それはいわゆる陰謀論(いんぼうろん)というものですね?
    That is what is called a conspiracy theory, right?
  • これはいわゆる和製(わせい)英語(えいご)というものです。
    This is what is called a loanword.
Fun-fact - The kanji for (いい) means 'oral tradition', and highlights the way that something is referred to over the course of different time periods, or in different places.


  • 本物(ほんもの)のように()える薬効(やっこう)成分(せいぶん)のない(くすり)いわゆる偽薬(ぎやく)(プラセボ)が場合(ばあい)によって医者(いしゃ)から処方(しょほう)されているかもしれない。

    Medicine that looks like the real thing, but does not have an active ingredient (what is called a placebo), might be prescribed by a doctor in some cases.

    偽薬 is more common than プラセボ.

  • (ほか)言語(げんご)から()()れた言葉(ことば)いわゆる借用(しゃくよう)()日本語(にほんご)(なか)によくみられる。

    Words introduced from other languages, so-called loanwords, can often be seen in Japanese.

  • (かれ)いわゆるゴールドラッシュのおかげで大金(たいきん)(かせ)いだ。

    He has earned his fortune thanks to the so-called gold rush.

  • それいわゆる神話(しんわ)というやつです。信用(しんよう)してはいけません。

    That is what is called a myth. I must not believe it.

  • (かれ)犯罪(はんざい)(しゃ)(あつか)するのはやめてください。いわゆる推定(すいてい)無罪(むざい)ということです。

    Please stop treating him as a criminal. (He) is what we call presumed innocent.

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