A few insults in Japanese

Here is a quite unassuming article to present some of the most commonly used insults in Japanese. Since the Japanese themselves may prove rather reluctant to teach you, you may not be able to learn the words directly from them.  

Most of the insults in print manga are written in katakana (the writing system for foreign words). Please be warned that we have tried to provide English translations of matching coarseness … We do apologize for the uncouth language! 

In Japanese, the word insult or swear-word translates as 侮辱 / bujoku.

  • baka 馬鹿 or aho アホ = idiot, stupid (may be used in an affectionate way in some contexts)
  • bakayarô 馬鹿野郎 = its coarser version, and its derivative kusoyarô クソ野郎 (asshole)
  • kuso 糞 = shit !
  • kusobaba 糞ばば = to insult a grand-mother / kusojiji 糞じじ = to insult a grand-father
  • chikushô 畜生 = fuck/damn it
  • the less polite versions of kimi 君 (you), such as teme テメ or kisama 貴様 (bastard)
  • yarô 野郎 or konoyarô この野郎 = jerk
  • urusai うるさい = literally means  "noisy", and is more or less equivalent to "shut up !"
  • a much tougher version: damare 黙れ = shut your fucking face 
  • onore 己 = mother fucker or kusotare 糞たれ = shit face
  • busu ブス = fucking ugly 
  • and generally speaking, all imperative/prohibitive phrases and conjugations which are considered as extremely rude in Japanese... For example shine 死ね = die !

Needless to say that as a rule, the Japanese do not often use insults in everyday language. Young people probably tend to use them more, although within limits, but most Westerners learn them in anime

After all that abuse, you may feel like saying “I love you” in Japanese! 

Swear-words, curse and bad language in Japan
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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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