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Japanese Slang





This dictionary is a comprehensive and in-depth look at all the slang, vulgarisms, curses, and insults, plus idioms and expressions and a lot more, available in Japanese. Every effort has been made to keep it current and relevant, though of course older slang also remains in here for those who enjoy films, television, and books from years past. If you like anime or other modern Japanese entertainment or are planning to live, work, or travel in Japan, you'll find many of the words and phrases used in here. As always with slang, be careful using what you hear; it may not work quite the way you expect.



やーこう
[やーこう, yaa-kou] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: a contemptuous way of referring to them)

やーさま
[やーさま, yaa-sama] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: a cautious, polite way of referring to them; from ‘yakuza-sama’)

やーさま
[やーさま, yaa-sama] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: a gentle, colloquial way of referring to them)

やーさん
[やーさん, yaasan] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: a gentle, colloquial way of referring to them)

やおちょう
[やおちょう, yaochou] fixer; someone who throws a race, fight, or other form of competition (often seen in Sumo)

やかましい
[やかましい, yakamashii] quiet; be quiet; shut up

焼き鳥
[やきとり, yakitori] fire fatality (lit.: grilled chicken)

やく
[やく, yaku] drugs

やくざ
[やくざ, yakuza] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: the word comes from an old card game in which the worst combination was 8-9-3, which becomes ya-ku-za, meaning a loser)

役に立つ
[やくにたつ, yaku ni tatsu] be useful; be fit for

疫病神
[やくびょうがみ, yakubyougami] pest; odious person (lit.: pestilence god)

やさ
[やさ, yasa] hideout (inverted form)

矢先に
[やさきに, yasaki ni] just as

安陰買
[やすいんばい, yasu-inbai] cheap prostitute (lit.: cheap seller of obsenity)

痩せ馬に重み
[やせうまにおもみ, yase uma ni omomi] an excessive burden; too much to ask

痩せっぽち
[やせっぽち, yaseppochi] very skinny person; stick; beanpole

谷地
[やち, yachi] vagina (lit.: valley)

やつ
[やつ, yatsu] he; him

八つ当たりする
[やつあたりする, yatsu-atari suru] vent one's anger at everyone around

やっかい
[やっかい, yakkai] problem, trouble spot

やっちゃう
[やっちゃう, yacchau] fuck (from the verb yaru)

やっちゃん
[やっちゃん, yacchan] yakuza; Japanese gangster (n.b.: a gentle, colloquial way of referring to them)

やっつける
[やっつける, yattsukeru] beat up

やっぱ
[やっぱ, yappa] naturally; of course, ultimately, in the end, finally

やっぱし
[やっぱし, yappashi] naturally; of course, ultimately, in the end, finally

柳腰
[やなぎごし, yanagigoshi] willow waist

やばい
[やばい, yabai] dangerous, troublesome; I’m in for it

やばいかも
[やばいかも, yabai-mon] this can’t be good

ヤフオク
[やふおく, yafu-oku] Yahoo! auctions

やぶ蛇を出すな
[やぶへびをだすな, yabu-hebi o dasu na] don’t drive a snake from a bamboo grove; let sleeping dogs lie

野暮
[やぼ, yabo] unrefined, uncouth, boorish, rustic

野暮てん
[やぼてん, yaboten] boor; unrefined person; redneck

やま
[やま, yama] case (in police context) (lit.: mountain)

山師
[やまし, yama-shi] swindler (lit.: mountain master; n.b.: once a vulgar word for miner)

ヤマンバ
[やまんばやまんば, yamanba] subculture of teenage girls who dye their hair blonde, tan their faces or use dark make-up except around their eyes, and wear platform boots

闇金融
[やみきんゆう, yami kinyuu] black-market financing; illegal financing

やめとく
[やめとく, yame-toku] pass; pass on; skip

やり雄
[やりお, yario] an easy rider (refers to a male)

遣り口
[やりくち, yarikuchi] MO, modus operandi

やり友
[やりとも, yaritori] someone with whom one is not romantically involved but frequently has sexual relations with anyway

やる
[やる, yaru] kill; off; take out (lit.: to do)

やるな!
[やるな!, yaru na!] impressive (n.b.: depending on context and intonation, this can also be a command not to do something, i.e.: "yaru" plus the negative command particle "na")

ヤンエグ
[やんえぐ, yanegu] young executive

ヤングラ市場
[やんぐらいちば, yangura ichiba] underground economy in goods and services, involving lots of barter and buying and selling of secondhand goods

やんまま
[やんまま, yan-mama] young mother in her early twenties

ヤンママ
[やんまま, yanmama] U.S. mother; American mom (abbreviated)


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