Japanese slang Dictionary 2023


We’ll introduce you to Japanese slang. Try using it in conversations and chatting with friends.
Be careful not to use it on official occasions…


1. それな / わかる

[so re na / wa ka ru] ≒ I think so too / That’s it / I know

“それな” is one of the most commonly used slang among young people in Japan.
And “わかる” means “I understand how you feel” or “I understand what you said”.

A:仕事行きたくないわ… (I don’t want to go to work…)
B:それな〜 / わかる〜

2. まじ? / がち?

[ma ji / ga chi] ≒ Are you being legit?

It has a nuance of “I can’t believe it”. To be a little more polite, “ほんとに?”.
These are often wrritten in hiragana.

A:彼女にフラれちゃったよ… (I got dumped by my girlfriend…)

3. いいね / あり

[i i ne] ≒ Sounds good

Like(♡) on SNS is written as “いいね” in Japan.
And “あり” has a nuance of “70-90% agree”.

A:今週末お寿司食べに行かない?(Do you want to eat Sushi this weekend?)
B:いいね! / あり!


1. めっちゃ / めちゃくちゃ / めちゃ

[me ccha / me cha ku cha / me cha] ≒ totally / very

“めっちゃ” is one of the most commonly used slang in Japan. Other than young person also use this word.
And “めちゃ” is often used in chat.

A:見て!昨日かわいい服買ったんだ〜 (Look! I bought cute clothes yesterday.)

2. かなり

[ka na ri] ≒ quite / pretty

“かなり” is almost synonymous with “めっちゃ”.
If anything, “かなり” is more formal than “めっちゃ”.

A:彼が明日遅刻しないか心配だね… (I’m worried he won’t be late tomorrow…)

3. わんちゃん

[wa n cha n] ≒ probably / maybe

“わんちゃん” comes from “One Chance”, but it means “probably” or “maybe”.
This is wrritten in both hiragana and katakana.

A:私たち終電に乗れるかな? (Can we catch the last train?)
B:わんちゃん乗れる!(Maybe we can!)


1. えぐい

[e gu i] ≒ Nasty

“Nasty” has a negative meaning, but “えぐい” has both positive and negative meaning.
In case “えぐい” is used in good ways, it has a nuance of “amazing!” or “awesome!”.

A:大谷選手のサインもらったよ!!(I got Otani’s autograph!!)

2. よき

[yo ki] ≒ Good / Nice

This comes from an archaic word “よきかな” that means “good”.
However “よき” is now also a youth language.

A:先生へのプレゼントはネクタイでいいかな?(Do you think a tie is a good present for our teacher?)

3. やばい

[ya ba I] ≒ fucking / gosh / amazing

“やばい” has both positive and negative meaning.
This is a useful slang that can be used in any nuance.

A:ねえ!このバッグ半額だって!(Look! This bag is half tha price!)

A:あ!宿題忘れた… (Omg! I forgot my homework… )
B:やば! <negative>

4. エモい

[e mo i] ≒ emotional / nostalgic / sentimental

This is a coined word composed of “emo” from “emotional” and “い” for adjectiveization.

■What makes ous feel “エモい” when we see it ?
Ex 1:An elementary school that we graduated from a few decades ago
Ex 2:Sunset over the sea


1. ググる

[gu gu ru] = Google it

This is a coined word composed of “ググ” from “Google(グーグル)” and “る” for verbization.

A:これ、なんていう花?(What kind of flower is this?)

2. ディスる

[di su ru] = Diss

This is a coined word composed of “ディス” from “disrespect(ディスリスペクト)” and “る” for verbization.

A:君の手料理は意外と美味しいね(笑) (Your home cooking is unexpectedly good lol)
B:ディスってる?(Are you dissing me?)

3. ジワる

[ji wa ru] ≒ getting funnier and funnier / gradually makes me laugh

This is a coined word composed of “ジワ” from “ジワジワ(≒gradually)” and “る” for verbization.

A:亀の散歩してるあの人、うちの上司じゃない?(Isn’t that person walking the turtle our boss?)


1. パリピ

[pa ri pi] ≒ Party people

“パリピ” is short for “Party people(パーリーピーポー)”.
People who are simply flashy may also be called “パリピ”.

A:俺、今日も明日もクラブ行くわ (I’m gonna go to club today and tomorrow.)

2. インスタ映え / 映え

[i n su ta ba e / ba e] ≒ Instgrammable / Photogenic

This is a coined word composed of “インスタ” that is short for “Instagram(インスタグラム)” and “映え” that means “Photogenic”.

A:このカフェすごくおしゃれだね!(This cafe is so cool!)