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
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- 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
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