Japanese Slang Words Youth in Japan(日本語の若者言葉)

There are almost too many Japanese slangs out there to count. You don’t necessarily have to use them, but it’s always handy to at least know about some.

I would like to introduce some popular Japanese slang terms that young people in Japan often use – especially on the Internet.


1. Agepoyo (あげぽよ)

This one is used at the end of a sentence to express great excitement and anticipation for some event.

“Kyou wa kanojo to de-to de agepoyo! (今日は彼女とデートであげぽよ!/I’m so excited to go out with my girlfriend tonight.)”

As an antonym, there is a term called “Sagepoyo (さげぽよ).”


2. DQN (DQN) – “Dokyun”

This refers to “a dumbass” or “an idiot,” while implying that the person who is violent and/or uneducated.

A DQN can also describe someone who hates society and its institutions. Other common traits include an egoistic attitude, and having little regard for others.

For example, if I were to witness someone trying to hit on a girl, I would say “DQN ga iru. (DQNがいる。/That guy’s an idiot.)”


3. Chuunibyou (中二病)

Roughly translated, this is “Middle School 2nd Year Syndrome.”

People with chuunibyou act like a know-it-all adult while looking down on actual ones, and/or believe they have special powers unlike the ‘average’ person.


4. Reaju (リア充)

Mashing together the words “riaru (リアル/real)” and “juu (充/to fulfill),” this term describes someone who has a fulfilling experience in their day-to-day real life. In addition, some otakus refer to people who have boyfriends or girlfriends as reaju(s).

If I didn’t have a girlfriend, and saw a couple making out in front of me, I would scream at the top of my lungs (in my mind, of course) “Reaju Bakuhatsu Shiro! (リア充爆発しろ!/Just go blow yourselves up!)”


5. Tehepero (てへぺろ)

This term brings to mind the images of someone sticking out their tongue in an attempt to hide their embarrassment after making a clumsy mistake.

If you made a careless mistake, do this face: (・ω<).


6. Torima (とりま)

An abbreviation of “Toriaezu maa (とりあえず、まあ),” this means “Well well” or “Let’s just start from.”

“Torima biiru desho. (とりあえず、まあビールでしょ。/Let’s start off with beer.)”


7. Saasen (サーセン)

This is a collapsed version of the word “sumimasen (すみません/excuse me/sorry).” And it would usually only be used among fairly close friends.

You would use this term to say “I’m sorry.” in a somewhat inconsequential situation.

If you do something wrong to your friend, but don’t think it’s that serious, you can just say “Saasen. (Sorry.)”


8. Itai (痛い)

It basically means “painful,” but in Japanese slang is used to refer to people.

There are many ways you can use this word. As some of examples, if someone says somethings stupid, you can say “Kimi itai yo. (君、痛いよ。/What you just said sounds stupid.)” Or you can use it in reference to things like cars.

Some otakus put stickers of anime characters on their cars. It’s kinda hard to believe, right? So that’s why we call their cars “Itashya. (痛車/Painful cars)”


9. Owakon (オワコン)

It’s an abbreviation of “Owatta contents (終わったコンテンツ),” which means to be out of fashion/style.

If someone talks about something very old which nobody cares about anymore, you can say “Sore mou owakon dayo. (それ、もうオワコンだよ。/That’s way out of fashion.)”


10. Daretoku (誰得)

It’s an abbreviation of “Dare ga tokusurun dayo. (誰が得するんだよ。/Who benefits from it.)”

There is similarly a term “Oretoku(俺得),” which means I can benefit from it.”


11. Doyagao (どや顔)

This basically translates to “a smug face.”

For instance, people using a Macbook at a Starbucks in Japan seem like they think they’re cool. If you like, you can sarcastically say “Aitsura doyagao dayona. (あいつら、どや顔だよな。/Their faces look smug, huh?)”


12. Rom-ttero (ROMってろ)

This one means that someone should “Just read this, don’t talk about it.”

When someone talks about something inappropriate on a forum like 2channel, people would say “Rom-ttero” in order to shut him/her up.


13. Oshimen (押しメン)

It’s an abbreviation of “Ichioshi member. (一押しメンバー),” a person’s favorite member of a group like AKB 48 or Momoiro Clover Z.

My one of my cousins loves Shiori Tamai from Momoiro Clover Z. So for him, Shiori is his Oshimen.


14. Owata(オワタ)

When something bad happens to you or you come to an obstacle which you’re not able to do anything about, you can use this term. It’s essentially like saying “Oh well, it’s game over.”

For example, when you’ve literally just dropped your phone into a toilet, you can say “Owata.”


15. Otsu (乙)

This is a simple abbreviation of “Otsukaresamadeshita. (お疲れさまでした。).” It’s awkward to translate into English, but put literally it like saying: “Since you’ve worked so hard, you must be tired .”


There are three ways to use this term:

1. With great appreciation

When someone uploaded a movie to YouTube, people will usually say “Up otsu desu. (うp乙です),” meaning “Thank you for uploading this movie.”


2. With disappointment

“I went eat an Italian restaurant, but it was closed today.”

“Ostu desu. (乙です)”


3. With sarcasm

When a person starts a thread and comments on that very same thread by himself/herself, pretending as if it’s other people doing it.


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