“Baka” is the most usual Japanese make an oath word. The baka meaning usually equates to foolish or stupid. However it can take top top a whole selection of definitions depending top top context, relationship, and also other factors.

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In kanji, it’s generally written baka 馬鹿(ばか). When separated, those kanji mean uma 馬(うま) (horse) and shika 鹿(しか) (deer). These kanji to be selected due to the fact that of their sounds “ba” and “ka.” yet there room several other combinations the would have worked. Prefer 母娘 (Mother-Daughter), 馬娘 (Horse-Daughter), 破家 (Broken-House), 莫迦 (Trillions-Beautiful voice), 馬稼 (Horse-Earning money), and 跛家 (One foot-House). Currently that’s baka!

Baka is also commonly created in Hiragana as ばか or in Katakana as バカ. ~ above the internet, the is sometimes written as ヴァカ or βακα.

Although the baka meaning can take countless forms, there is certainly a an unfavorable connotation attached come it (it is a swear word after all). Therefore it’s not generally used in publicly or legit situations.

For example, if you speak “baka” come a subordinate in her company, you may have to spend time in HR watching videos on an old VCR. Usage caution prior to pulling this puppy out of your Japanese language arsenal.

So, we are going to examine this baka word for this reason as no to it is in 馬鹿 by misusing it.

Baka Etymology how To use Baka

Baka Etymology

Source: GalaxyFM

There are several theories top top the origin of the baka definition, i m sorry regrettably method we can’t be certain which one is correct. The earliest written usage of baka is in Taiheiki (a Japanese historical epic said to have actually been written by Kojima Houshi in the 1370s). At the moment the indigenous was not baka 馬鹿(ばか) however bakamono 馬鹿者(ばかもの) (stupid person). So the theory which take into that 馬鹿者 was the an initial usage that the term are an ext believable than others. There’s a multitude of interesting theories however today we’ll focus on just five of them.

#1 A Story native the Shiki (The documents of the Grand historian from China)

During the era that the 2nd emperor Kogai of the Qin dynasty, his eunuch Choko to plan a rebellion in an effort to usurp his power. He want to uncover out i beg your pardon courtiers to be on his side and also came up with an idea. He carried a deer come the royal palace, offered it to the emperor and said, “I’ve carried you a an extremely rare horse”. Understandably, the emperor obtained confused and asked, “Isn’t this a deer?”

With a divisive line drawn, Choko then relocated towards the courtiers asking, “This is most definitely a horse, is the not?” Those who were fear of Choko replied, “Yes, this is a horse” and those who did not fear him answered, “No, the a deer”. Choko later eliminated the courtiers that answered deer. Native that, the phrase:

指鹿為馬(しろくいば) Pointing at a deer, calling that a horse

arose to describe using strength to urge that miscellaneous is one point though the is clearly another.

It’s believed that baka comes from this story and also this concept is in reality the many widely accepted. However, one inconsistency is the the ‘ka’ part of ‘baka’ is in reality a Japanese reading and wouldn’t have actually been read this way in Chinese.

#2 The Sanskrit indigenous “Moha”

Another indigenous that can be review as “baka” is the kanji 莫迦(ばか), i beg your pardon is from the Sanskrit indigenous “moha”, meaning “ignorance” and also “illusion”. It’s theorized the monks started using baka esoterically and it come into typical usage later on on. This theory was placed forward by one Edo duration Japanese scholar, Sadakage Amano, and is supplied in most significant Japanese dictionaries, consisting of the Kojien. However, some studies question this theory due to the fact that “ignorance” no a baka meaning in Japanese as soon as it was an initial used.

An interesting addition to this concept is the in Bengali, the official language of Bangladesh which has its beginnings in Sanskrit, the word “baka” way “stupid person”.

#3 Wakamono (Young People)

In Japanese wakamono 若者(わかもの) way “young people”. In this theory, the “w” that wakamono to be for part reason readjusted into a “b” as soon as referring to young people as stupid and, thus, bakamono 馬鹿者(ばかもの) came into being .

Kunio Yanagida, the father of Japanese aboriginal folkloristics, stated that the editor of Kojien, Izuru Shinmura, presented this theory but didn’t leave any type of documents supporting it once he died. Therefore the fact of this concept is still uncertain. What is known, however, is the Shinmura to be unwilling to expropriate the Sanskrit concept of “Moha” for the Kojien.

#4 Bankrupt Family

The native baka 破家(ばか) in the Zen buddhism scripture way "a family members bankrupted" and also it’s stated that bakamono 馬鹿者(ばかもの) came out the this to describe a human as “someone that is therefore stupid that they could enable their family members to go bankrupt”. This concept was gift by a professor at Tohoku university, Kiyoji Sato, and adopted by a Japanese thesaurus Nihon Kokugo Daijiten 日本(にほん) 国語(こくご) 大辞典(だいじてん).

#5 The family members Name uma 馬(うま) (Horse)

In Bai Juyi’s city anthology Hakushi Monju 白氏(はくし) 文集(もんじゅ), over there is a poem around a well-off Chinese household with the name uma 馬(うま) who invest all their money ~ above stupid things and eventually walk bankrupt. It’s thought about bakamono 馬鹿者(ばかもの) to be born as a 馬家者(ばかもの), which deserve to be damaged down together ba 馬(ば)(Horse)-ka 家(か)(Family’s)-mono 者(もの)(Person). This concept was presented by Osamu Matsumoto in his publication “Zenkoku Aho・Baka Bunpu Kou 全国(ぜんこく)アホ・バカ 分布(ぶんぷ) 考(こう)”.

How To usage Baka

The meaning of baka is so varied (as you"ve seen), it"s no wonder the it"s intake is same complex. Girlfriend can"t simply scream "ばか!" and also expect that to be taken the same method by every human being in every situation.

To better understand how and when to use this ultimate Japanese make an oath word, we"ve damaged the baka consumption into 3 parts.


Source: ايــمــي (✿❛◡❛ฺฺ)ノノ~❤ 10:02

Though we can’t it is in sure exactly how it came right into being, we understand that baka eventually emerged to take its ar as the nasty little word us know and also love today. The said, let’s go over just how it’s being used presently and also learn just how to “mind your Ba’s and Ka’s”.

The frequently observed effects of the word room “insufficient knowledge”, “insufficient thoughtfulness”, “insufficient understanding”, or “abusing the stereotype”. The baka an interpretation changes depending upon the person who states it, the person/object/situation it is directed towards, and also the instance in which the is used.

I recognize that sounds confusing. V so numerous possibilities, certain you’ll have actually trouble knowing exactly when to use it. However, endless possibilities typical you pretty lot can’t obtain it wrong. The beauty beauty of the numerous nuances is that you have the right to just blurt the end ばか at any kind of random time and also people will instantly correlate the definition most suited to the present situation. Friend (mostly) can’t lose!

Be mindful though the its intake is quite different regionally. Because that example, in Kanto (Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa), baka is normally used for mild ridicule, whereas that the go-to word once you really want to curse someone out in the Kansai an ar (Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and also Shiga). Thus, it’s vital to keep in mind that human being take this word very differently depending upon where they’re from.

If you recognize a little bit of a certain dialect, friend may have actually heard the synonym aho 阿呆(あほ), i beg your pardon is the most generally used profanity in Kansai. Back both room very comparable words, there room slight differences between them. Baka is regularly used once someone’s will or effort to understand is lacking, whereas aho is provided when someone’s ability to recognize is completely lacking. For this reason aho is normally the an ext nasty the the two.

The place where one have to practice the many discretion though, is Hokkaido. Human being from everywhere Japan have actually moved come Hokkaido so there is no method of immediately knowing which side of the Aho / Baka fence someone could fall on. The nastier of the 2 words may differ relying on the area that Hokkaido you’re in. Hokkaido-ans also have your own regional version the baka, i m sorry is Hankakusai はんかくさい() or in the old dialect Takuranke たくらんけ(), but more on that later.

Positive Meaning

Baka is often used to mock someone, but it can likewise be offered in a good-natured way. Like the English native “silly”, it could express stupidity, foolishness, and also irrationality, yet can also describe ridiculousness, an inebriated state, or even feelings of endearment because that someone. If you tell that beautiful mrs walking down the street or the handsome man from accountancy that they are baka, she not likely to acquire a call number. But watching just how the baka Japanese native is used in between people deserve to reveal the sort of relationship they share.

Someone that is really into something can additionally be called baka. In this case, “baka” means that you space so keenly interested and also involved in something the your attention for other people or other things is lacking. Because that example, over there is a well known movie dubbed “Tsuri-Baka-Nisshi 釣(つ)りバカ 日誌(にっし)” (Fishing Fool’s Diary) in i m sorry the key character is a salaryman whose peak priority is fishing. This specific baka meaning is regularly self-appointed and sometimes denotes a kind of respect.

Some much more examples of this intake are: yakyuu baka 野球(やきゅう) 馬鹿(ばか) definition someone who is really right into baseball. If you space really right into learning Japanese, friend might speak to yourself nihongo-baka 日本語(にほんご) 馬鹿(ばか).

Baka can additionally be provided for someone that works so diligently and also purposefully towards a sole endeavor that they become a master of the one thing. For this form of baka 馬鹿(ばか), over there is another expression, i m sorry is “guchoku no nen 愚直(ぐちょく)の 念(ねん)”. Guchoku 愚直(ぐちょく) method simply and also stupidly honest and also nen 念(ねん) refers to a feeling or feeling. An example of this consumption is the title of the manga Karate Baka Ichidai 空手(からて)バカ 一代(いちだい)(A Karate-Crazy Life).


The most typical word paired v baka 馬鹿(ばか) straight translates as something you might have merged with the expression “dummy” or “meanie” when you were three. Oo 大(おお) (Big) is commonly added to the beginning of baka and is supplied when someone is being really stupid, or oobaka 大馬鹿(おおばか) a “Big Stupid”.

This is also used as soon as somebody goes a tiny kooky. Rather of using oo 大(おお), young human being often add geki 激(げき) (Intense) or chou 超(ちょう) (Very) which kind to end up being gekibaka 激馬鹿(げきばか) (Intensely Stupid) or choubaka 超馬鹿(ちょうばか) (Very Stupid). It’s not the exact same pronunciation together the character Chewbacca, however it’s good way to aid you remember.

Another typical word paired through baka 馬鹿(ばか) is bakayarou 馬鹿野郎(ばかやろう) (stupid man). I claimed the equivalent in English would certainly be something favor “dude”, together yarou 野郎(やろう) is slang for ‘man’. However, uneven dude, it have the right to take on a bad definition like jerk, schmuck, or other more inappropriate names. Combine baka 馬鹿(ばか) v such a word can come off pretty strong, but if you’re v the roof bakayarou 馬鹿野郎(ばかやろう) is not strong enough. Because that intense cases you require the large guns.

If you add oo 大(おお) in front prefer oobakayarou 大馬鹿野郎(おおばかやろう) (Incredibly stupid person) climate you’ll absolutely cut the offending person down to size.

Sometimes, yarou 野郎(やろう) is changed with a neutral word, such together mono 者(もの) (person), or through a an ext nasty word prefer tare たれ(). When you add ko 小(こ) (small) rather of oo 大(おお) in front of baka 馬鹿(ばか), together in kobaka 小馬鹿(こばか), you acquire the baka definition of ‘to look under on someone’.

Baka an interpretation Examples

Source: Andrew Dobrow

To get a better idea of when and where you should use each circumstances of baka, I’ve put together some instances so you use the ideal baka at the appropriate time. Check out each instance sentence and also it baka translation.

#1. Come rail at someone that made a failure or go something stupid.

ばか! ばかもの! ばかやろう!

#2. To regret the you or someone rather did something stupid.

馬鹿(ばか)なことをした I/You/He/She/They did such a stupid thing.

In this case, you can add a suffix prefer 馬鹿なことをしたよ(yo), 馬鹿なことをしたな(na), 馬鹿なことをしたね(ne), 馬鹿なことをしたもんだ(monda) come the end for adding some much more specific nuance. Review our explanation that the bit ne ね() to know what kind of an interpretation it will add.

#3. To look down on someone who doesn’t understand something you take into consideration to be usual knowledge.

〜も 知らない(し )の? 馬鹿(ばか)だね friend don’t also know ~? You space such a basic minded human being テストで0 点(てん) 取った(と )の? 馬鹿(ばか)だな You got a score of 0 top top the test? You must be quite dumb.

#4. Someone that can’t think objectively or rationally about something.

“ 親馬鹿(おやばか)– 親 way parents and also combines with baka to end up being 親馬鹿 method ‘overly-fond parents’. In this case, a parent loves their child/children so much that they can’t think objectively or rationally once it pertains to them.

#5. Someone who is only well learned in one subject and also lacks common knowledge. In this usage, the baka an interpretation is similar to otaku.

あいつは 数学(すうがく) 馬鹿(ばか)だから。 he is crazy around math. あいつは 野球(やきゅう) 馬鹿(ばか)だから。 he is crazy about baseball. あいつはサッカー 馬鹿(ばか)だから。 he is crazy about soccer.

#6. Something that is useless or broken.

ネジが 馬鹿(ばか)になる。 The screw loosened and also won’t fasten anymore. 嗅覚(きゅうかく)が 馬鹿(ばか)になる。 Your feeling of smell has become stupid.

#7 used as a prefix come express something extraordinary.

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馬鹿正直(ばかしょうじき) Super ethical 馬鹿(ばか)デカイ Super huge 馬鹿騒(ばかさわ)ぎ Party out 馬鹿受(ばかう)け super funny, an extremely popular 馬鹿売(ばかう)れ Sold really well

Baka Dialects

Source: Worldlslandinfo.com

I briefly stated the Hokkaido dialectal differences for baka earlier, however why not learn each prefectural dialect, as well? some places simply use baka ばか() and also don’t have actually dialectical variation, yet most have actually fun means to call world stupid. (Note: Some areas in the prefecture may use various expressions. The Japanese dialects space not perfectly divided by the prefectural boundary.)

Okinawa: furaa ふらー() Kagoshima: baka ばか() Miyazaki: shichirin しちりん() Oita: bakatan ばかたん() Kumamoto: anpontan あんぽんたん() Nagasaki: baka ばか() Saga: nitohasshu にとはっしゅ() Fukuoka: anpontan あんぽんたん() Kochi: ahou あほー() Ehime: ponke ぽんけ() Kagawa: hokko ほっこ() Tokushima: aho あほ() Yamaguchi: baka ばか() Shimane: daraji だらじ() Tottori: darazu だらず() Hiroshima: baka ばか() Okayama: angou あんごー() Wakayama: aho あほ() Nara: aho あほ() Hyogo: dabo だぼ() Osaka: doaho どあほ() Kyoto: aho あほ() Shiga: ahou あほー() Mie: ango あんご() Gifu: tawake たわけ() Aichi: taake たーけ() Shizuoka: baka ばか() Fukui: aho あほ() Ishikawa: dara だら() Toyama: dara だら() Niigata: baka ばか() Nagano: nukesaku ぬけさく() Yamanashi: nukesaku ぬけさく() Kanagawa: baka ばか() Tokyo: baka ばか() Chiba: baka ばか() Saitama: baka ばか() Gunma: baka ばか() Tochigi: usubaga うすばが() Ibaraki: dere でれ() Fukushima: baka ばか() Yamagata: anpontan あんぽんたん() Akita: bakake ばかけ() Miyagi: hondenasu ほんでなす() Iwate: doboke とぼけ() Aomori: honjinashi ほんじなし() Hokkaido: hankakusai はんかくさい()

Which one is your favorite? Mine is nitohasshu にとはっしゅ() in Saga. It sound cute, no it?

We’re all Baka!

Source: Steve Voght

Harlan Ellison once said “the two many common aspects in the people are hydrogen and stupidity.” through so plenty of ways to be stupid, we people need simply as plenty of ways to contact it out. So study up on this variations the “baka”, so you’re ready for everything dumb situations life throws at you, or so you deserve to accurately describe yourself once you missing mindedly uncover yourself in baka whirlpool of your own making. Even if it is talking around your love the fishing or blowing off some heavy steam with some casual Japanese swearing, be sure to usage baka 馬鹿(ばか) responsibly, effectively, and also maybe even a small bit foolishly.