14 Japanese Slang Words Everyone Should Know

japanese slang words

Konnichiwa! Here are 14 awesome Japanese slang words that will take your conversations to a whole new level. These words are a vibrant part of everyday Japanese speech and will add a touch of fun and authenticity to your language skills. We will dig into each of the words in the table below.

English WordPronunciationHirigana
Cool (trendy) (masculine)Kakkoiiかっこいい
Cute (feminine)Kawaiiかわいい
Horrible / AwfulYabaiやばい
Wow! / Terrific!Yabaiやばい
Tasty / DeliciousOiishi / Umaiiおいしい / うまい
Really?Maji de / Majiまじで / まじ 
I did it! / We did it!Yattaやった
Stupid / IdiotBaka / Ahoばか / あほ
No (I don’t like it)Yadaやだ
You’re kidding! / That’s a lie!Usoうそ
Really?Honto?ほんとう
See you laterMata ne / Ja neまたね / じゃあね
Totally! Choちょ
Awesome!Sugoiすごい
I don’t like it / I don’t want itMuriむり
Table of “Must Know” Japanese Slang Words
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  • Kakkoii: When it comes to expressing admiration for someone’s style or appearance, “kakkoii” is your go-to word. This slang term means “cool” or “handsome.” Imagine strolling down the streets of Harajuku and spotting someone with an incredible fashion sense. You’d exclaim, “Kakkoii!” to show your admiration for their impeccable style.
  • Kawaii: Prepare yourself for an overload of cuteness with the word “kawaii.” This popular slang term encapsulates everything adorable and lovable. From fluffy kittens to cute plush toys, you’ll find yourself saying “Kawaii!” whenever something melts your heart. For instance, when you spot a group of fluffy bunnies playing together, you’d squeal, “Kawaii!”
  • Yabai: Now, here’s a versatile slang word that can express a range of emotions. “Yabai” can mean “dangerous,” “bad,” “awesome,” or even “wow.” It all depends on the context. Picture yourself watching a breathtaking fireworks display and being blown away by the spectacle. You’d excitedly shout, “Yabai!” to convey your amazement.
  • Oiishi / Umaii: Prepare your taste buds for the delectable world of “oiishi” or “umaii.” These slang terms both mean “delicious” or “tasty.” Whether you’re savoring a mouthwatering bowl of ramen or biting into a perfectly prepared sushi roll, you’d exclaim, “Oiishi!” to express your sheer delight in every bite.
  • Maji de / Maji: When you want to emphasize your seriousness or convey sincerity, “maji de” or simply “maji” comes to the rescue. It means “seriously” or “really.” For example, if your friend tells you a shocking news story, you might respond with, “Maji de?!” to express your genuine surprise or disbelief.
  • Yatta: Celebrate victories and joyous moments with the exclamation “yatta!” This slang word is used when you want to express excitement or happiness over an accomplishment. Imagine acing a difficult exam, and you’d shout, “Yatta!” to share your triumph with the world.
  • Baka / Aho: Sometimes, a lighthearted insult is all you need to tease your friends playfully. “Baka” or “aho” translates to “fool” or “idiot.” Of course, it’s essential to use these words in a friendly manner. You might affectionately call your buddy “baka” when they make a silly mistake during a game.
  • Yada: When you strongly dislike or want to refuse something, “yada” is the word for you. It means “no” or “I don’t want to.” Let’s say your friend offers you a strange food combination like pickles and ice cream. You might scrunch up your face and firmly say, “Yada!” to decline the unusual offer.
  • Uso: In Japanese slang, “uso” means “lie.” When you catch someone telling an untruth or attempting to deceive you, you’d exclaim, “Uso!” to call them out. It’s a handy word to
  • Honto?: When you’re skeptical or seeking confirmation, “honto?” will come in handy. This slang word means “really?” or “is it true?” You can use it when someone shares surprising information or makes a bold claim. For instance, if your friend tells you they saw a unicorn in the park, you might raise an eyebrow and ask, “Honto?”
  • Mata ne / Ja ne: Bid farewell in a friendly and casual way with “mata ne” or “ja ne.” These expressions mean “see you later” or “goodbye.” Whether you’re saying goodbye to a close friend or ending a fun conversation, these slang phrases add a warm and informal touch. You might wave and say, “Mata ne!” as you part ways after a day of exploring the city together.
  • Cho: Ready to take things to the next level? “Cho” is the perfect slang word to emphasize greatness or intensity. It means “very” or “super.” So, when something impresses you beyond words, you can exclaim, “Sugoi cho!” to convey the sheer magnitude of its awesomeness.
  • Sugoi: Speaking of awe-inspiring things, “sugoi” is a popular slang word that means “amazing” or “great.” It’s a versatile expression used to describe anything impressive, from a stunning sunset to a mind-blowing performance. If you witness a breathtaking firework display, you’d gasp, “Sugoi!”
  • Muri: Have you ever encountered a situation that seems impossible or beyond your capabilities? That’s when “muri” comes into play. This slang term means “impossible” or “beyond one’s ability.” You can use it when faced with a daunting task or a demanding challenge. Picture yourself staring at a massive mountain and admitting, “Muri!” in acknowledging its unconquerable height.
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And there you have it, my fellow Japanese language enthusiasts! These 14 Japanese slang words will undoubtedly add a touch of authenticity and fun to your conversations. Also be sure to check out other Japanese phrases that have multiple meanings and usages so you know how to stay out of trouble! From expressing admiration to teasing friends or celebrating victories, these expressions offer a colorful glimpse into everyday Japanese speech. So, go ahead and sprinkle these words into your language repertoire, and watch as your conversations come alive with vibrant slang!

Mata ne! (See you later!)

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