うける!

Recently, I’ve noticed うける popping up in comments responding to funny photos posted online. So the question is, how did a word that means “receive” come to take on its LOL connotation?

In English, we say that a good stage performance, for instance, was “well-received” or that it “received accolades”. Similarly, in Japanese, we can say「(客から)拍手・喝采をうける」(to receive applause and cheers from the audience). Thus, うける first came to apply to things that are generally “well-received”.

例:最近はペットの面白い画像を扱ったブログがうけるようだ。
Ex: Recently, it seems that blogs with interesting videos of pets have become popular.

Then, in the late ’80s, people started using うける to mean something they personally liked. うける became more like 笑える(that’s funny) or 面白い(that’s interesting). Thus, うける came to apply to “personal,” as opposed to “general,” preferences.

例:アンタの顔、チョーうけるー
Ex: Your face is hilarious.

And that’s the うける I came across when stalking people’s pictures!

Examples & history from Japanese Slang Dictionary:
http://zokugo-dict.com/03u/ukeru.htm

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