Imo (芋): Another Meaning of the Japanese Word
Imo (いも/イモ/芋) is a Japanese word for beginners to the language, which generally refers to or has the meaning of potato.
Imo (Pronunciation) is actually not the name of a variety.
But it is the umbrella term for nutrients-stored and enlarged edible plant roots and rhizomes, except for bulbs like an onion or Tamanegi (玉ねぎ).
The tuber is a nutritious food rich in carbohydrates, such as starch, and its cultivation is easy.
Because of that, Imo today has been a staple in the diet in many parts of the world.
The varieties of Imo commonly used in cooking in Japan include
- Jagaimo (じゃがいも): White potato in English
- Satsumaimo (さつまいも): Sweet potato
- Satoimo (里芋): Taro
- Yamaimo (山芋): Japanese mountain yam
- Nagaimo (長芋): Chinese yam
- Konnyakuimo (こんにゃく芋): Konjac potato
Another Meaning of Imo
We also use the word Imo (芋) for a person, often in the form of Imoppoi (芋っぽい: like Imo), in which case it means unsophisticated or uncool.
This Imo has a negative or sarcastic meaning and can be offensive to the targeted individual, so be careful when you use it.
- あの男性歌手は芋だ。: That male singer is uncool (or unattractive in appearance).
- 彼女は芋っぽい。: She is unsophisticated (like Imo).