Extras Suffixes

I am snowed under with Leviathan, but there’s something on Wikipedia I’ve been meaning to show you guys.

Everyone always asks me about -wa and -la in the Uglies series. (The rule, by the way, is that you use -wa if you have an L in your name, and -la otherwise. So it’s Jane-la, Jose-la, and Maria-la, but Billy-wa.) Part of what inspired me to add these suffixes was my study of Japanese, which uses a complicated set of “honorifics.” These suffixes reveal how intimate you are with someone, how respected or famous they are, etc., so it made sense to put them in Extras.

Japanese honorifics are incredibly complicated (to us outsiders, anyway). So I kept it to just three: sama, chan, and sensei. Here’s how those suffixes work in Extras as opposed to modern-day Japanese:

In Aya’s world, sensei is used for anyone in the city’s top thousand most famous citizen.

But in Japanese (to quote this Wikipedia article):

Sensei is used to refer to or address teachers, practitioners of a profession such as doctors and lawyers, politicians, and other authority figures. It is used to show respect to someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in an art form or some other skill. For example, Japanese manga fans refer to manga artists using the term sensei, as in Takahashi-sensei for manga artist Rumiko Takahashi; the term is used similarly by fans of other creative professionals such as novelists, musicians, and artists. It is also a common martial arts title when referring to the instructor.

In Aya’s city, sama is for people who are world famous—someone who comes up in your mind-rain history class, like Tally and Shay. In Japan . . .

Sama is the formal version of san. This honorific is used primarily in addressing persons much higher in rank than oneself and in commercial and business settings to address and refer to customers. It also appears in words used to address or speak of persons or objects for which the speaker wishes to show respect or deference, such as okyaku-sama (customer) or Tateishi-sama (a stone idolised as a deity). Additionally, Japanese Christians will refer to God in prayer as Kami-sama and Jesus as Iesu-sama. -sama is regularly used by the press to mention female members of the Imperial Family (as in Masako-sama). People will also affix sama to the names of personages who have a special talent or are considered particularly attractive, though this usage can also be tongue-in-cheek, exaggerated, or even ironic.

And finally, chan is for close friends and siblings (particularly if they’re younger), and cute devices like Moggle. This is pretty much the way it’s used nowadays, though there are more gender issues in present-day Japan than in Aya’s city. Here’s the full definition from Wikipedia:

Chan is an informal version of san used to address children and female family members. It may also be used towards animals, lovers, intimate friends, and people whom one has known since childhood. Chan continues to be used as a term of endearment, especially for girls, into adulthood. Parents will probably always call their daughters chan and their sons kun, though chan can be used towards boys just as easily. Adults may use chan as a term of endearment to women with whom they are on close terms . . . . ‘Pet names’ are often made by attaching chan to a truncated stem of a name. This implies even greater intimacy than simply attaching it to the full name. So for example, a pet rabbit (usagi) might be called usa-chan rather than usagi-chan. Similarly, Chan is sometimes used to form pet names for celebrities. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger gained the nickname Shuwa chan in Japanese.

Terminator-chan. Hmm.

Other than -wa and -la, do you guys use any weird forms of address with your friends?

2,290 thoughts on “Extras Suffixes

  1. I am on!!! Although, it is very late from the tim you asked that, lol!

    But I was wondering… IS Anyone on NOW????

  2. I don’t really call my friends stuff. We have made up new names for fruits, though. Here’s some of them.
    Apple–> Sanana (sandwich+banana)
    Kiwi–> Pineapple
    and, of course, the legendary Grapeseed (orange)

    oh, I forgot about the nicknames. I am sometimes KAM, sometimes Newt, sometimes the Freckled Toad who plays a bassoon in a band with Mr. Nendza (the middle school band teacher)
    My friend is Rea, Rea-Rea, ReaMar,

    another friend is tesstesstesstesstess, Newt


  3. Hm. My friends and I don’t really create slang amongst ourselves but I do have a history of creating secret names for the guys I’m crushing on.

    There’s been “The Speaker” [as in an actual speaker for a stereo or something] who was a crush from waaaay back in the dark ages when I was a Sophmore in HS. Then there was the Turtle and the Rabbit [a best friend duo, one moving fast in relationships the other moving slow] and then there was “The Albino Kid” [I didn’t actually come up with that nickname but whatever, it works.]

    My friends and I also use “Certain people and certain things” when describing someone who is close to us and we’re talking about something they’ve done or how we feel about them. And there was this whole “That’s so cheese” phrase we went through, and who could forget the Batman joke! I swear my whole Sophmore year was all about “That’s what Batman said!” (This was actually made up with my younger brother while playing none other than Kingdom Hearts.)

    Not exactly much else. I did gain the nickname “Figmented” this year though, because a few of my friends decided I was too crazy to be anything more than a figment of their imaginations. Haha, this post is very long; I apologise for it’s length.

  4. That’s ok sometimes when we play soccer in the morning I am tired and just start yeeling random stuff. Poeple just usually ignore me unless it’s about them. Like on time I told someone they needed to pack and move to Round Valley (BAD BAD PLACE if ya catch what I mean) They got all mad at me. They were like yelling and screaming at me it was hilarious!!!!!!!!

    I love Superman/Tom Welling!!!!

  5. i luuuv these books. zane-la dying was a little sad-making though. i was wondering if there was gonne b another on in the trilogy/series. o and can someone please explain bubbly to me. sometimes i think i get it then tally says it in another way and im totally confused again. i think tally and david getting back together again is totally happy-making they deserve each other. also i think radical honesty is so awesome!Frizz too!

  6. You I don’t think that they get back together. Mybe it never really says though.We kind of have debates about it a lot though.

    I love Superman/Tom Welling!!!!

  7. read extras reagan.
    they get back together

    bubbly is like, a simpler form of being icy i guess.
    when you do something that clears your mind of everything else and makes you feel good. thats bubbly

  8. It implies it. I htink I just have a bad tendancy (Sorry if I spelled that wrong) to say that because I love Znae so mush better than David. I just cant face the truth
    I love Superman/Tom Welling!!!!

  9. Wow, thanks for clearing this up.

    As for me, my nickname is Hina. My best friend’s nickname is Hisa.

    I don’t even know how we got those names, but I know we’re really into the Japanese manga/anime theme and Hina and Hisa are japanese names.

    So we call eachother Hina-Chan and Hisa-Chan. I barely ever call Hisa by her real name outside of school. But her real name is Elizabeth.

    My real name is Anna.

    By the way, your books are the best EVER.


  10. Westerfeld-sensei, I am thrilled to finally know the whole -wa and -la thing clearly! I already knew about the whole honorific thing, so when I saw it in Extras, I completely freaked out! I love Japanese culture, even though I’m Taiwanese…. ^^;

  11. omg i called scott!!!!!aparently it was his agents number so i couldnt talk to him.=( !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And there is nothing any1 can do about it.lol.jk.lol.
    i bord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    wat is there to do on this site??????no offence but theres nothing to do on here.except chat.


  12. He kept hearing that noise outside the window, always the same noise. It was almost inhuman. Trying to ignore it he turned up the TV louder and louder until the noise faded away into the background. But then the noise got louder again so he turned up the TV even louder. Then he heard it again. He went up to his window but saw nothing. He scolded himself, “There’s nothing out there stop being paranoid”. But then he saw it in his peripheral vision. Scared to death he backed away out of the room hoping it hadn’t seen him, hoping tonight wouldn’t be his end. He finally made it to his room, his sanctuary, of so he though. Then there were more of them, suddenly he found himself backed up to the banister. Falling he reached out for something to steady himself, but he slipped farther and farther into oblivion. Everything went black, and he lost track of time. Next thing he knew he was hearing music in the background. It started soft but then was ringing in his ears. Louder and Louder it grew until he thought he would go deaf. Then it just stopped all of a sudden. He opened his eyes and gasped. Whoa, everything was strange, foreign to him. And he had a crazy bad headache. But then he remembered the last thing he saw before he blacked out, and that, that my friends chilled the core of his very existence. Most everything was dark. His vision still cloudy. He pondered how he survived the fall from last night. And then he felt it. A puddle at his side. He touched it and found it to be wet, sticky, and cold, and after a minute of wondering he realized what it was. It was blood, none other than his own. Suddenly he felt light headed and the room was spinning once again. But before he slipped into unconsciousness someone stuck a needle in his neck, piercing him with a sharp pain, making him let out a loud scream. It was a blood curdling scream that hurt his lungs, he had to fight though, had to try and stay conscious. But he was so weak and it didn’t hurt so much when he was sleeping. Sometime while he was battling whether or not to submerge into the sea of semi-consciousness, he was stuck again with a needle and relentlessly pulled under into an undisturbed slumber. An hour later his family discovered he was no where to be found. They never expected him to go missing though, and there was no trace of him. His parents were really taking it hard, thinking if only they had paid more attention. But little did they know, it would have made no difference, it was out of their hands. They called the cops hoping that it wasn’t too late for their son. Because hope was all they had left to hold onto. Without hope there was nothing. As they were speaking to the police Brian was coming to. He felt extremely groggy from all the drugs though. Confused, helpless… Another woman walked into the room he tried to ask her what he was doing here but she only stuck him with another needle, killing any sense of hope that he might get some answers. After he woke up from the third consecutive time of getting drugged he noticed something was different it was much warmer. Oh, so warm. Again his vision was blurred. He blinked a few times to clear his head, but then he realized it wasn’t him at all. It seemed…foggy. How strange, he thought. Why would there be fog indoors? Then he took a deep breath and it hit him. Fog was it not, but smoke, smoke all around him. He could taste it and it burned. Brian began to cough, searching frantically for an exit. Finally finding a door he crawled out into another room, just to find it even more filled with smoke than the last. Chocking for air he decided to go back. He remembered there being a small window in the last room, pushing the door open he flung himself inside. He franticly searched the walls until at last he found the window the only thing that kept him going was his thoughts of Allie. How he remembered her pretty smile that day on the beach. Then he realized, that was the last time he had seen her. This made him more determined, but outside the window was laid over with a wall of bricks. How convenient for him. Sheesh, they go to all that trouble of kidnapping me and don’t even warn me about a freaking fire, he thought to himself while bursting through doors and dodging the rising flames. Finally finding the outside he collapsed in exhaustion. He knew he had to hurry in fear his kidnappers will find him. He slowly got up and hobbles away from where he had been held captive for so long

  13. Some of my friends use the Japanese suffixes. Kate is Katie-chan, Kaylee is Kiwi-chan. but thats pretty much it.

  14. i call my friend sam sammie and she calls me ashie. more importantly this reminds me of ttyl where they say the first initial of someones name and add -boogie. as in a-boogie, and m-boogie. which is awesome. i should start a movement

  15. I’m pretty good with suffixes, and I thought it was really cool you used Japanese suffixes in the Extras book, even though I haven’t read it yet (trying, can’t find it >.<). I’ve gotten into the habit of switching from Japanese suffixes to Pretties suffixes according to my mood XD
    So a conversation would go “Laura-Chan, call Emi-Wa and we’ll get together to watch horror movies :D:D:D!”.
    Though I find myself bending the rules a little, since Emi-Wa sounds better than Emi-La, plus it’s too close to her real name.
    And Yuki-wa sounds better than Yuki-La, so that’s what I call myself.
    But I don’t like following the rules CX.

  16. my friends and i use -la and -wa, but thats it. somehow Logan-wa figured out the rule-go Logan-wa! and when we tease eachother, we say Ping-la from Specials

  17. I add add -ness as a suffix 😀 Example:
    (when talking about the book)
    Tally=Tallyness=Tally-Wa=Tally-waness(pronounced-wa{short a}n-eh-ss)

  18. i thought that it was depending on a long or short a. that was in the first chapter of pretties i thought that. now that i know, i am talking to everyone by adding the suffix to their name. thanx ^_^

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  20. Me and my friends use these! They make it fun. But I don’t see how Tally and Shay can use them when they are being so serious am I right or am I right?

  21. I call my friend Allie “Alliefish”. My friend Olivia calls us Alliepuff and Maddiepuff. And every time we pass propane tank we say “I vow m friendship and VOWS to the magicalGermansubmarinesharktankof doom!” Looooooooong story…

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