Abbreviation of チャリンコ (charinko).
Occasionally explained as a shortening of チャリオット (chariotto) from English chariot, from the sense of two-wheeled vehicle. However, this appears to be a folk etymology.
Ultimate derivation unknown. See チャリンコ for details.
チャリ (romaji chari)
- (slang) a bicycle
- (slang) a moped (less common)
May have childish overtones. Not used in formal contexts.
- ママチャリ (mamachari): a “mama bike”, with baskets in front and back, or possibly a child seat in back
- ババチャリ (babachari): (pejorative) an “old-lady bike”, a bicycle ridden by an elderly woman
- カマチャリ (kamachari): a “praying mantis bike”, a bicycle with the handlebars turned upwards to resemble the front legs of a praying mantis