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All Kinds Of Thing – ピンキリ

All and sundry. The whole spectrum. Anything and everything. Those are all viable translations for this juicy little slang term. ピンキリ might confuse you at first though. I initially thought of remembering something (ピンとくる) and for something to have no limits (きりがない), but it’s actually used in quite a different way.

First up, let’s take a look at the original expression that the slang term is based upon. That would be:

ピンからキリまで

Basically, the meaning of ○○から○○まで様々. It’s also used the same way as:

ありとあらゆる

And both amount of the same rough translation:

All kinds of thing

Naturally, this will vary depending on the context used of course! Also of interest is the idiom 十人十色 (じゅうにんといろ) which literally translates to ’10 people, 10 colours’. Equivalent English expressions might be: There are as many opinions as there are people. Or even: So many men, so many minds. Not quite the same as ピンキリ, but similar.

Anyway, onto the origins of the word!


The meaning of ピン comes from the Portuguese word for ‘point’ or ‘spot’ (点) which is ‘pinta’, originally used to refer to the number one (一) on playing cards. キリ, in contrast, refers to (十字架), the sign of a cross, also based loosely on the Portuguese ‘cruz’. In Japanese, the sign of the cross is ‘ten’ (十). This is but one possible explanation however, others being that キリ refers to the end (終わり) or the furthest limit (切り).

But whatever explanation you find most convincing, what is certain is that ピンからキリまで or the abbreviated term ピンキリ is supposed to refer to 一から十まで – everything from 1 to 10, or, ‘all kinds of things’.


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8 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)
    -Sabrina

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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