A new verb Bushusuru rises to lips throughout Japan

January 30, 1992|By John Woodruff | John Woodruff,Tokyo Bureau of The Sun

TOKYO ZXB — TOKYO -- Let historians and economists debate for years whether President Bush's trip here this month helped or harmed his cause -- one achievement can be recorded immediately.

The trip enriched Japanese with something every language needs, a socially acceptable verb for one of life's unspeakable miseries.

The new verb is "Bushusuru": to do a Bush.

As in this conversation in the Roppongi nightclub district between a man in a trench coat and a companion in a dark suit.

Trench coat (pointing to sidewalk): "Abunai yo!" (Hey, watch out!)

Dark suit (looking down): "Jaa, dare ga Bushushita, ne!" (Jeez, somebody did a Bush, didn't they!)

The new verb has turned up in popular magazines and TV variety shows. It has even made its way into a popular trained-monkey act.

Each night, tens of thousands of Japanese men deliberately get as drunk as they can as fast as they can, one of the few widely accepted ways of escaping the rigidly stylized manners that dominate social relations here.

As these tens of thousands head for the subways around midnight, dozens each night get no farther than the sidewalk before they Bushusuru.

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