(part of common anime words)
To begin with, let's take a look at the two kanji in the word baka 馬鹿: they are 馬 and 鹿, One means "horse," and the other one means "deer," in case you don't know about animals in Japanese.
Yeah, that helped nothing.
Nobody is really sure where the word baka comes. Some say it's related to a Chinese story about people who couldn't tell a deer from a horse, others say it's a loaned word from another language. Either way, in the Japanese language somehow joining a horse and a deer together means "stupid," so let's get back to that meaning.
Just like baka 馬鹿, the word ahou 阿呆, or just aho, is used to say "stupid" in Japanese. But what's the difference between baka and aho? They aren't the same word so they must be different, right?!
Well, what's the difference between "stupid" and "idiot"?
Indeed. Both aho and baka mean the same thing, but turns out there is actually a difference between them, though it's only geographical.
The word aho is used more in the kansai 関西 area while baka is used in the kantou 関東 area. That means baka is more offensive in the kansai area than aho, because saying baka is a rare thing while everyone's used to being called aho. Likewise, aho is more offensive in the kantou area as it's said less in there.
For those who can't tell the difference between these two parts of Japan, kansai 関西 is at the "west," or nishi 西, while kantou 関東 is at the "east," or higashi 東. By the way, Tokyo 東京 is literally "capital" (京) of the "east" (東).
Using Baka 馬鹿Grammatically speaking, the word baka 馬鹿 is both a -na -な adjective and a noun. That means you can use pronouns to tell one baka from another baka, in case you're in a baka-filled environment.
- kono baka! この馬鹿!
This idiot!. (not the other one)
- ano baka! あの馬鹿!
That idiot! (now it's the other one)
- baka na koto 馬鹿なこと
- baka na yume 馬鹿な夢
- baka na yatsu 馬鹿な奴
Stupid guy (girl, person, thing, etc.)
You can also write baka 馬鹿 using katakana カタカナ instead of kanji, turning it into バカ.
There isn't much difference between the many ways to use baka as an adjective, I mean:
- baka oniichan! バカお兄ちゃん！
- baka na oniichan! バカなお兄ちゃん！
- baka no oniichan! バカのお兄ちゃん！
All mean more or less the same thing. (more about oniichan) Only this one is a little special
- oniichan no baka! お兄ちゃんのバカ！
Stupid brother! (it's your fault!)
No Baka のバカUsing the no の particle like that turns the phrase into something like oniichan's baka or someone's baka. You can think about that as someone's stupid action that led to some stupid consequences.
- omaera ni kiita ore ga baka datta お前らに聞いた俺がバカだった
I (ore) was stupid to ask (kiita) you guys (omaera).
- omaera ni kiita ore no baka datta お前らに聞いた俺のバカだった
Asking you guys was a stupid for me to do.
Are You Stupid?
If the no の particle is in the end it turns the sentence into a question. Like this:
- baka janai no? 馬鹿じゃないの？
Aren't you stupid?
- baka nano? ばかなの？
Are you stupid?
In the first case, baka janai no, it's like confirming that someone is stupid. Imagine having a vegetarian friend and he orders meat in a restaurant. You'd ask "aren't you a vegetarian?" The idea here is the same.
You can also confirm that you are not stupid by saying watashi wa baka janai 私はバカじゃない.
But there are other ways to question the stupidity of people in Japanese.
- baka desu ka? バカですか？
- baka ka, omae wa? バカか、お前は？
- baka ka yo? バカかよ？
- anata wa baka desu yo ne? 貴方はバカですよね？
Because You Are StupidWhen bad things happen, they happen because some baka went and baka-ed all over the place. Therefore, in Japanese, you explain the situation using the only words a baka can understand.
- kimi wa baka dakara 君はバカだから
Because you're stupid
Baka ni Suru バカにする
The phrase baka ni suru バカにする means "to make someone look like an idiot." This is often a special skill of main characters in shounen 少年 anime and can be used like this:
- ore wo baka ni suru tsumori ka? 俺をバカにするつもりか？
Are you trying to make me look like an idiot?
- baka ni shinaide! バカにしないで！
Don't make me an idiot!
Don't try to fool me!
Don't make fun of me!
- baka ni sareta... バカにされた…
[Someone] made fun of me...
Baka 馬鹿 Vocabulary
Finally, here are the meanings of some other often spoken baka 馬鹿 sentences:
- baka gaijin! バカ外人！
- bakayaro 馬鹿野郎
(He, she,) that idiot!
- baka desu 馬鹿です
[I] am stupid.
[You/they] are stupid.
[He/she] is stupid.
- bakadomo バカ共
You idiots. (in plural)
Those idiots. (in plural)
- bakamono 馬鹿者
One idiot person. (singular)
- bakarashii 馬鹿らしい
Stupid, absurd. (adjective)
- bakabakashii 馬鹿馬鹿しい
Stupid, bullshit (adjective)
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu バカとテストと召喚獣
Stupid and Test and Summoned Beasts (anime)
A word that sounds like baka but is not baka is the word bakari. As you can see, the word bakari starts with baka, but it has this ri at the end which makes it completely and one hundred percent different.
Except that sometimes the word bakari, or rather, its louder version bakkari ばっかり, can be shortened to bakka. So you got to pay attention.
- Tabeta bakari nanoni, nanika tabetai 食べたばかりなのに、なにか食べたい
Though (nanoni) I just ate (tabeta bakari), I want to eat (tabetai) something (nanika)
- kuruma wo katta bakka janeeka? 買ったばっかじゃねーか？
Didn't you (janeeka) just buy (katta bakka) a car? (kuruma)
Bakari can also be used to say something happens all the time.
- ano ko wa naite bakari あの子は泣いてばかり
That kid (ano ko) cries all the time (naite bakari)