Asking sweetly to get what you want.
neko nade goe

ねこごえ literally means “the voice of a cat being petted”, but we use expression to describe someone asking for a something they want in a very kind, sweet voice - in English, we might translate it as “asking sweetly.”

ねこごえ is a metaphor from the sound of a cat purring when we pet them. If we pet them and they purr, then this is cat’s way of saying they want more! But once they stop purring, it means that they want us to stop - in fact, sometimes cats may nip or bite at us and jump away! Therefore, ねこごえ refers to the sweet, but temporary, voice someone uses to get something from another person.

ねこごえ is usually used for women and children, likely because male voice is too deep and doesn’t sound ‘cute’ like a cat! ねこごえ can also be used as a cute joke, but be aware, it can have a bit of a negative connotation. When you say your friend is using ねこごえ, this means you can tell they are kind of faking a sweet voice to get what they want - this can sometimes be awkward, so be careful!

Example Sentences
  • ども: 「ねえ、おかあさん」 はは: 「どうしたの。ねこごえして。」

    Kid: “Mom…” Mother: “What’s the problem? You have a very sweet sound in your voice.”

  • かのじょたんじょうゆびしいとねこごえった。

    My girlfriend told me she wants a ring for her birthday using her sweet asking voice.