What does Baka mean in Japanese?

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 is 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 ideograms (kanji), or with alphabets hiragana and katakana. The word baka it is composed with the character of horse (馬) and deer (ide) 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 sea shell called Mactra chinensis.

What does baka really mean in Japanese?

Origin and meaning of Baka

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.

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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 illusion. It is believed that the monks began to switch the reading of arrears to baka. Another theory suggests that the word baka emerged 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.

What does baka really mean in Japanese?

Using the expression baka

As you have noticed, the word baka has several different uses. Sometimes the tone of your voice defines the way you are insulting and offending the person. You can simply speak randomly and harmlessly or even call the person strongly dumb. Thus, the word can also be used in a friendly and humorous way.

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It is common to make combinations of words together with baka to create different meanings and offenses. You can see some on our Japanese expletives list - clicking here. Let's share some below:

  • Bakayarou (馬鹿野郎) Stupid guy;
  • Bakamono (ばかもの) Idiot;
  • Oobaka (大馬鹿) Great 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;
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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 the purpose of 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 it comes to insulting or calling someone a donkey.

What does baka really mean in Japanese?
Who knows this girl has heard a lot of “baka”…

Trivia about the word baka

Meaning of the expression: Bakabakashi - Refers to an 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 in Sanskrit, where the word "baka" means "stupid person".

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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 BAKA code to refer to this Japanese bomb.

What does baka really mean in Japanese?

Baka in other dialects

To end the article more completely, let's leave a list of variations of the word baka in other 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, took a long time to do so. What is your opinion on the subject? We are also waiting for 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)