Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal
Go-chisou sama (deshita)
This phrase is said after meal.
It expresses appreciation to people who prepared or cooked the meal.
“Chisou” literally means “running around”.
The Kanji character for “chi” means “run fast” or “travel fast on horseback / by car”.
The “sou” character means “run”.
People used to run around (or ride around on a horse) to gather food to cook for their guest(s).
So, “chisou” is a noun meaning “feast”, and usually it comes with an honorific prefix, “go”.
Along with “go”, “sama” is attached as an honorific suffix for the phrase after meal.
The noun “go-chisou” can be used for “gorgeous dinner”.
When / whom to say
“Itadaki masu” is generally said once before eating, but “Go-chisou sama” can be said several times.
At home or the table in a restaurant, I put my palms together and say it (with a vow) after meal.
In a restaurant, I usually say it again at the cashier after paying the bill.
When somebody treats me a dinner, I will say it once more outside the restaurant.
So, if I am treated by somebody at a restaurant (or the person’s place), the phrases will be used maybe like this :
(Probably after refusing the person’s offer a few times) “Sumimasen, go-chisou ni narimasu.” (With a vow)
“Sumimasen” is, in this case, “thank you”.
About the phrase “go-chisou ni narimasu”, see below for the details.
[At the table before eating]
“Itadaki masu”. (Vow)
[At the table after eating]
“Go-chisou sama deshita”. (Vow)
[On leaving the restaurant]
(To a staff who thanks us for coming, saying “Arigatou gozai mashita”) “Go-chisou sama deshita.” (Vow)
[Outside the restaurant]
(To the person) “Go-chisou sama deshita.” (Vow)
The word “chisou” and “go-chisou”
It’s possible to omit the prefix “go” and say “chisou” for “feast”, but it’s rather unusual.
The only case I can think of is that in a historical drama or something, a man in a high position like a master of samurai say “Chisou ni naru” when he is offered a meal by somebody in a lower rank.
Literal translation for the phrase would be “I shall be treated.”
It actually is, so “go-chisou” is much, much more general.
– The phrase “Go-chisou ni narimasu” –
“Narimasu” is politer expression of “naru”, and the phrase is said to a person (or people) who treat you a meal.
It means “I would be treated (with gratefulness)”.
I guess this sounds still rather arrogant and strange in English, but it is fine in Japanese, even to the top people in your company.
With or without “deshita”
Although both of “go” and “sama” are honorific, I’m afraid that “Go-chisou sama” sounds more casual than “go-chisou sama deshita“, especially to somebody in the higher position.
“Deshita” is the past tense of an auxiliary verb “desu”.
(Some might say the phrase in the present tense, “Go-chisou sama desu“.)
At home, I often say just “Go-chi!” instead of “Go-chisou sama”.
It’s an abbreviation of “go-chisou” or “Go-chisou sama”.
You can say “Go-chi ni narimasu” or “Go-chi deshita”, but it is a bit too casual to use to your boss.
“Sama” or “san”
Similar to Japanese honorific titles, “sama” can be replaced to “san”, but I don’t think it’s very polite.
To me, it sounds a little arrogant, and I’ve never heard anybody say “Go-chisou san” in public except some middle-aged men.
“Go-chisou sama” – “Had enough!”
The phrase “Go-chisou sama” may be used when somebody boasts (too much), especially about the person’s spouse or lover.
For example, when you are with a couple who keep talking about how happy they are together and you are not very interested, maybe you tell them “Hai, hai, go-chisou sama.” (“Yes, yes, heard enough.”)
#Phrase before meal
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
In Japan, you can find capsule toy vending machines or gacha-gacha in Japanese (refers both to the toy and the vending machine) mostly everywhere. It’s usually located near the entrance at supermarkets, restaurants, department stores, and other places. Gacha-gacha (Capsule Toy) Specialty Store in Okayama City Recently, I have learned that there is a gacha-gacha specialty store called […]
Sugawara no Michizane is the person who is worshipped as god of study at the shrine, “Dazaifu Tenman-guu”. “Sugawara” is the family name and “Michizane” is the first name. He is also well-known as one of the Big Three Onryou (vengeful spirit) in Japan, along with Taira no Masakado and Emperor Sutoku. Life of Sugawara […]
“Iroha-uta” as a poem I’m going to explain the meaning of the poem in two posts. As I wrote in the previous post, it is thought to be composed in the Heian era (794 – 1185). In the major theory, the poem is said to express a doctrine from the Nirvana Sutra. But the poem […]
The final post about numbers in Japanese. Number over quadrillion Numbers over “chou” (trillion to quadrillion) are quite rarely used. You may hear the following unit “kei” sometimes, but numbers over the unit “kei” won’t be seen in usual life. I’ve never seen it myself even in the news and I actually can’t name units […]
Numbers in Japanese : Zero and over ten to hundreds Zero and from 11 to 999. Zero in Japanese “Zero” or “Rei”. “Zero” from English, and “Rei” from Chinese. The pronunciation of “rei” is almost the same as English “lay”. Both are very commonly used, and generally considered as the same meaning. In fact, they […]
Old-fashioned / historical “I” in Japanese The following “I” pronouns are well-known and can be quite often heard / seen in historical stories especially those which are set in the Edo period. But, these are rarely used in the present time. Neutral [Temae] “Temae” literally means “before hand(s)”. The near side of someone / something. […]
“Kitano Tenman-guu” in Kyoto to console Michizane In 942, Michizane’s spirit showed up before a girl from a poor family in Kyoto and ordered to build a shrine for him in “Ukon no baba” (“hippodrome controlled by the right guard office”), the place where he often visited during his life. Of course she didn’t have […]
“Toshi densetsu” : Japanese urban legends (2) In this post, there are only two Japanese urban legends. The main topic is a Japanese toilet. Yume (Dream) A high school girl had a nightmare that she was mangled by a psychopath with his knife on the way home from her school. It was so vivid […]
Old Japanese Alphabets or Historical Japanese Alphabets The two red characters in “gojyuu-on” and “iroha-uta” are out of use now. Both characters had their own sounds consisting of a consonant and a vowel, but each of them changed into the same sound as a vowel which has a similar sound. Although they couldn’t be distinguished […]
Many of Japanese honorific titles in text are the same as ones in speech. However, “sama” or “dono” is much more often used in text, especially for address. Maybe it’s because a writer is in the distance. In a letter, use the same title as one in speech. When I write a letter to my […]