In every language, there are some words that you should use with heavy caution. Especially swear words.
Japanese is no different. For many English learners, the vast differences in Japanese lettering, accents, and culture may cause more confusion than usual. But don’t mistaken the value of knowing the most common Japanese swear words, if you’re serious about learning this language.
People from Japan are known to be one of the most polite citizens. Since it’s rare for a random stranger to throw out casual Japanese swear words, you must learn to use them carefully.
The first step is to learn the basic swear words in Japanese so you can learn to avoid them (or use them when needed). If you’re just starting to learn the language, don’t worry about mastering the lettering initially. Get familiar with the sounds and definition first, then the rest will come soon enough.
Let’s get started.
*Note: Please use the following words in caution.
17 Japanese Swear Words That You Should Use Very Carefully
General offensive Japanese words (Level 1 Japanese Swear Words)
1. ばか (Baka)
Baka (stupid) is a fairly general offensive word that’s commonly used in English and many other languages. Some may debate whether this counts as a swear word or not. Since every culture is different, you want to play on the safe side in most cases.
2. うざい (Uzai)
Meaning: Annoying, (pain in the ass)
Know a special someone that is just a pain? Uzai is the perfect word to describe them. It can also mean noisy, which may be a pet peeve in Japan as most citizens are usually to themselves. If you want to apply some emphasis to it, end Uzai with a long ‘e’ (i.e. Uzaeee), and it’ll be similar to saying that ‘someone is so annoooooying’.
3. わるがき (warugaki)
Warugaki is likely a word you would use to someone who’s younger than you. Similar to English, when you have a child who just won’t leave you alone, you can use this word.
4. ぶす (busu)
Meaning: Ugly woman
Not the kind of word you want to be using to a stranger, but if you’re joking around with friends — maybe. Either way, it’s good to know this in case someone else decides to call you busu.
5. 奴 (Yatsu)
At first glance, you’re probably confused. What does ‘guy’ have to do with Japanese swear words? The truth is, there are nuances in Japanese that are different from other cultures. The word ‘guy’ can have a negative connotation that is used as a condescending way to put another person below your level.
6. ちくしょう (chikushō)
Meaning: Oh shit!
This isn’t directed at someone, but likely used when you forget your keys in the car, late for your language lessons, or when you drop gym weights on your toes!
On the other hand, it doesn’t always have to be used for negative situations. It’s not uncommon to use chikusho when something great happens, like your favorite basketball team has a major comeback from a losing half!
7. どけ! (doke!)
Meaning: Get out of my way!
Imagine you’re late to work or a date, and you’re trying to push your way across the subway lines before the door closes. If no one around you speaks English, it’s going to be a pain to get by, and you’ll probably offen more people if you just shove them.
Use ‘doke’ to let people know ahead of time that you’re trying to get by them.
Things got a little more offensive up in here… (Level 2 Japanese Swear Words)
Now we’re starting to direct some of these Japanese curse words towards other people. We should warn you that moving forward, you should use these with more caution. Preferably, only to know when others are using it against you.
8. くそくらえ (kuso kurae)
Meaning: Eat Sh*t
Pretty self explanatory. On a scale of 1 to 10, you’d have to at a 7 to be using this kind of language, but who are we to say. In case you didn’t already know, ‘kuso’ is shit, so we’re just adding another word ‘kurae’ (eat) on top of it.
9. ばかやろう (Bakayarou)
We already established (#1) what ‘baka’ means in Japanese. If you forgot, it means stupid. That means bakayarou is just another level up from that, emphasizing how ‘idiotic’ someone is.
10. しんじまえ (shinjimae)
Meaning: Drop dead/Go to hell
Ouch. Anyone else getting more offended up in here? Don’t worry, it’s all in good taste (and preparation for you).
Shinjimae is one of those last resorts you use when you’re fed up with someone during a conversation. You either can’t seem to come to an agreement or resolution, and you say… ‘ah, go to hell.’
We’ve all been there.
11. ちくしょう (Chikushou)
Meaning: Son of a Bitch
The literal translation for this is: despicable person. Given the complexity of the word, you can use this in several different ways depending on the context. It can also mean ‘damn’ or ‘crap’ if used suddenly after a surprising event.
12. くそ (Kuso)
Kuso is the more common way to say ‘sh*t’ or ‘f*ck’ compared to chikusho (#6). And like chikushou (#11), it’s a versatile word that can be used in many different ways.
Fun fact, it’s one of the most popular words for foreigners and new Japanese learners to use.
13. ふざけるな (fuzakeru na)
Meaning: F*** Off
The word ‘na’ is used to negate a word. ‘Fuzakeru’ mean to fool or mess around. That means ‘fuzakeru na’ literally means ‘don’t mess around’ with me. If used aggressively against someone, it could also mean ‘f*ck off.’
OK, now I’m officially offended… (Level 3 Japanese Swear Words)
Use with caution! You’ve been warned.
14. だまれこのやろう (damare konoyarou)
Meaning: shut up you bastard!
If the traditional shut up isn’t working, you can add the word bastard, ‘konoyarou’, to add some spice into it. Fair to say that you should start with just shut up in the beginning and progress from there.
15. やりまん (yariman)
A highly offensive word, especially towards woman. It’s no different in Japan, and be ready to met with some aggressive reactions if used incorrectly towards someone. Especially if you don’t know who they are.
16. くたばれ (Kutabare)
Meaning: F*ck you
A good ol’ swear word that exists in just about any language.
17. 死ねえ (shinee)
You really can’t get more offensive than this Japanese curse word. Unless you’re using it as a joke, it may ruin some friendships.
Which of these ‘dirty’ Japanese words were your favorite? Hope you found this valuable, and that it protects you while in the streets of Tokyo!
If you want to know swear words in other languages, please check out below:
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