many know that baka (馬鹿) in Japanese literally means idiot, stupid, donkey, fool, silly, goofy, clown, and many other curses in just one word. But is that really the true meaning of the word? What are its origin and uses? What do the expressions that usually accompany the word mean? In this article, we will really understand what baka means in Japanese.
The word baka (馬鹿 / ばか / バカ) can be written with Japanese characters (kanji), or with Japanese alphabets. hiragana and katakana. The word baka it is composed with the character of horse (馬) and deer (鹿) indicating that the origin is from 2 animals that are also used as an insult in Brazil and other countries.
The word can also be used to refer to something trivial, crazy, or absurd. It can also be used to refer to something silly, dull, stupid, absurd, and ridiculous. The word is also used as the name of a seashell called Mactra chinensis.
Baka meaning and origin
We have already made it clear what baka really means in Japanese. But there are still other details that were not clear. To understand, we need to look more closely at the origin of the word baka. There are several theories about the origin of this word, let's see some things, and you can decide for yourself.
Some believe it all started when a eunuch named Choko planned a rebellion against the 2nd Qin Dynasty Kogai Emperor in China. He took a deer and introduced it to the Emperor, saying he brought a rare horse. Some agreed out of fear of him, those who disagreed were killed.
Another theory came from the word mora (莫迦) which means ignorance and delusion. It is believed that the monks began exchanging the reading from mora to baka. Another theory suggests that the word baka came from the expression wakamono (若者) which means young people. Others say that the word came from the expression bankrupt family, that in the Zen scripture is pronounced baka.
Using the expression baka in Japanese
As you've noticed, the word baka has several different uses. Sometimes the tone of voice defines the way you are insulting and offending the person. You can simply speak randomly and harmlessly or even call the person strongly stupid. So the word can also be used in a friendly and good-natured way.
It is common to make word combinations together with baka to create different meanings and offenses. You can see some in our list of swear words in japanese - clicking here. Let's share some below:
- Bakayarou (馬鹿野郎) Stupid guy;
- Bakamono (ばかもの) Idiot person;
- Oobaka (大馬鹿) Big idiot;
- Bakanakotowoshita (馬鹿なことをした) – To regret that you did something stupid;
The word baka is used in several other good expressions. Below, we will see the word being used in a good way:
- Bakashoujiki (馬鹿正直) = Naively honest, super honest;
- Bakadekai (馬鹿デカイ) Huge, gigantic, immense, stupidly large;
- Bakauke (馬鹿受) Super funny, super popular, super well received;
The word is also often used in phrases and expressions that indicate that a person is crazy about something, a fan of something. The simple fact that you are studying Japanese is already a reason for someone to say Nihongo-baka, not as an insult but for your effort.
There are so many expressions related to baka that it is common to hear this word several times in anime, and not just when insulting or calling someone stupid.
Fun facts about the word baka
Meaning of expression: bakabakashi — Refers to action, idea, or something that is unreasonable and out of reality, with no connection or coherence, a silly subject that does not deserve to be discussed or that is “nonsense”.
Did you know? Bengali, the official language of Bangladesh, has its origins from Sanskrit, where the word "baka" means "stupid person".
Did you know? In World War II, the Japanese made a piloted bomb that came off the bomber. The bomb was called Ohka (cherry blossom). The ironic thing is that the American enemies themselves used the B.A.K.A code to refer to this Japanese bomb.
Baka in japanese dialects
To finish the article more completely, we will leave a list of variations of the word baka in japanese dialects. The provinces that do not appear on the list are because they do not usually use a variation but the common word. don't forget to share the article, it took a long time to make it. What is your opinion on the matter? We are also waiting for the comments.
- Aichi = taake (たーけ)
- Akita = bakake (ばかけ)
- Aomori = honjinashi (ほんじなし)
- Ehime = ponke (ぽんけ)
- Fukui = aho (あほ)
- Fukuoka = anpontan (あんぽんたん)
- Gifu = tawake (たわけ)
- Hokkaido = hankakusai (はんかくさい)
- Hyogo = dabo (だぼ)
- Ibaraki = dere (でれ)
- Ishikawa = dara (だら)
- Iwate = doboke (とぼけ)
- Kagawa = hokko (ほっこ)
- Kochi = ahou (あほー)
- Kumamoto = anpontan (あんぽんたん)
- Kyoto = aho (あほ)
- Mie = ango (あんご)
- Miyagi = hondenasu (ほんでなす)
- Miyazaki = shichirin (しちりん)
- Nagano = mekesaku (ぬけさく)
- Nara = aho (あほ)
- Oita = bakatan (ばかたん)
- Okayama = angou (あんごー)
- Okinawa = furaa (ふらー)
- Osaka = doaho (どあほ)
- Saga = nitohasshu (にとはっしゅ)
- Shiga = ahou (あほー)
- Shimane = daraji (だらじ)
- Tochigi = usubaga (うすばが)
- Tokushima = aho (あほ)
- Tottori = darazu (だらず)
- Toyama = dara (だら)
- Wakayama = aho (あほ)
- Yamagata = anpontan (あんぽんたん)
- Yamanashi = mekesaku (ぬけさく)