Trends in Engrish – The Beauty Saloon

posted on 3 Jun 2010 in Engrish Trends

I remember seeing my first ‘beauty saloon’ in person when visiting Nara in Japan way back in 1988, and had visions of hot cowgirls playing poker (hey, it’s my dream!).  I was later reminded of the old saloon I once spotted when I received and posted this Engrish pic in 2003.

Since then, by way of countless submissions I have learned that the beauty saloon is ubiquitous in the Engrish lexicon, and the phenomenon can be found outside Japan as well. Here are a few variations I have received over the years (trust me there are a lot more):

We start off innocently enough with a few regular “beauty saloons”…

Shiseido seems to have a thing for saloons:

Here’s a nice saloon for hair – when you just want to let it all hang out.

Time we mozy on down to beautify our car…

I am visualizing women in long white dresses tossing their veils back while doing Jagermeister shots…

They tacked on a Paris to this one to make it sound classy (this pic was also taken in Tokyo):

Then I found that hair saloons are not limited to Japan. The Good Choice Hair Saloon is your best choice in Lahore, Pakistan:

Finally the Porn Saloon!

Some Notes:

Porn Saloon – I believe that this last pic was taken in Thailand and “Porn” is the shopkeeper’s name.

Saloon Etymology: It turns out that the word ‘saloon’ is actually derived from the (originally French) word ‘salon’.  Today of course a saloon makes one think of a bar in the wild west with swinging doors, and ‘salon’ most often refers to a beauty salon (it can also refer to a reception room or gathering place in a large house).

  • cl

    The last pic was taken in Malaysia. somewhere in KL’s suburbs, it seems. You can see Malay and Chinese words, and I know the area code in the bottom right of the photo. If it were in Thailand you would’ve seen the distinct Thai alphabet.

  • namabiru

    If you go to the Middle East, you’ll find Saloons everywhere. The Saloon, though, is where the men go to get their hair cut.

  • Xenobiologista

    "Salun pendandan rambut" is Malay, so I would assume it's from Malaysia, but that doesn't exclude a Thai owner. The "saloon" misspelling is pretty common.

  • coffeebot

    A little off the top, pardner

  • Amy

    It looks pretty intentional to me. Look at those bulbous scissors heading for that V with a slit up the middle. It’s a porn something, whether it’s a saloon or salon.

  • teddseven

    the last picture is located at Puchong Jaya, Selangor Malaysia…

  • Rye

    Is it me or do those scissors look like male genitalia?

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