Wearing a costume. Not exactly a new concept. The word, though, projects a new concept. It is a gen X/Y concept, related to "just saying". Gen X/Y hate to be held accountable for actions; they consider it an act of violence. So, they have language that says, "I'm doing this, but act like I'm not because that will make me feel better about doing it". "Just saying" means, "I'm going to make a point, but act like I didn't. That way I can have my say, but not have any negative consequences". Cosplay is the same idea. If we still said, "wearing a costume", one might well, and often, ask, "Why are you wearing a costume?" Hoy! "That's about me!" "Uh, uh, uh...I have to give a rationale for my behavior. I never do that! Can't we pretend it's not about me???" So we have cosplay, the activity takes on the responsibility for the actor. "Why are you doing that?" "Because it's cosplay!" If one responded "that's stupid", they can say, "Oh, you're not down with cosplay". If they had said, "I'm wearing a costume" and you said, "that's stupid", it would be about them. And they would feel bad. And never upsetting anyone is what we've taught our vermin so we can shove a few more into the same space without them killing each other.
"I'm wearing a costume because we're doing cosplay, duh!"
by Defender of the Aggedors August 01, 2014

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A measurement of looks, photoshop skills, number of 'likes', and race. An overall contest.
"I want to cosplay, but I don't have the body type of my character."
"Then don't do it. You won't win."
by MisoOnRacks April 07, 2015

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kos-pley

n. The habitual act of dressing up like comic book or cartoon characters favored by enthusiasts, nerds, and batshit weirdos with a loose grip on reality.
"There was an alarming rise in tentacle-rape incidents at this year's anime cosplay convention."
by Alan Wordsmithee March 13, 2012

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Costume play
People who dress up as their favorite characters in general
sexual in nature
Moron who dresses up like they're favorite anime character is engaging in cos play.
by smokinnuggs July 11, 2009

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In Japan, "cosplay" or "costume play" seems to mean no more than "wearing a costume or something that looks like a costume". If somebody is walking around dolled-up or in a funny-looking outfit, everybody just calls them a cosplayer.
I have heard Japanese people refer to Visual kei artists as "cosplay pretty boys". And they are obviously not dressed up as anime characters.

Lolita fashion is originally NOT cosplay, but a legitimate fashion. Is Goth cosplay?
by Kuroloki June 30, 2006

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Cosplay is a portmanteau of the words costume and roleplay. Generally, depressed lifeless Japanese wannabees tend to dress up in shoddy costumes ordered on the internet, before running to their towns dressed in a white wig, claiming to be the ultimate bishie (Sephiroth), and stealing the pudding from the town.
After the teenagers that spoke in a strange combination of Japanese and English attacked the town, no pudding was left. The townspeople were to only eat applesauce that night.



Cosplay
by Wanghis November 15, 2008

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Short for 'Costume-play." More or less the act of dressing up as an anime oor video game character. Popular among anime fans and teenage Japanese girls.
"I want to have sex with Japanese girls who dress up as anime characters (cosplay)."
by DesPERRYado October 16, 2005

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