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October 01, 2007



I'm really confused about the origin of some of the 和製英語 words. The one that comes up most frequently for me (because it's in my self introduction lesson which I do about seven million times a month) is ジェットコースター (jet coaster; means roller coaster).

Was there any point in time where jet engines were fixed to amusement rides? Conjures up images of men in spandex suits and funny helmets trying to break the land speed world record on the salt flats in a rocket sled. One thing's for sure - roller coasters would be a heckuvalot scarier if they actually were jet coasters. Ha ha.


According to Wikipedia it is because the acceleration was reminiscent of jet propulsion:

ローラーコースター (Roller coaster) は、遊園地に設置されている遊具、アミューズメント・マシーン(アミューズメント・ライド)の一種で、絶叫マシン(スリル・ライド)等と呼ばれる種類の乗り物の一つである。日本ではジェットコースターと呼ばれることが多い(ジェット噴射するように加速していくことから由来)が、ジェットエンジンなどは使われていない。

But this page http://www.gnew.jp/contents/kinenbi/09.html explains that the original Japanese rollercoaster, located in Korakuen Amusement park, was called the Jetcoaster, and because it was so popular the name became applied to all subsequent rollercoasters......

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