And kanji with manga
Friday, December 1, 2017

うp - Meaning in Japanese

On the internet, in Japanese forums and websites, sometimes you might encounter the following strange word: うp (or うp), which mixes Japanese the Latin alphabet together.

うp example usage in a forum board from the anime Inuyashiki いぬやしき

Now, if you're like me, a complete idiot unable to put 2 and 2 together, you might be wondering: but what does うp mean?! Oh noes, my nihongo skillz aren't l33t enough to decipher the cultural intricacies of Japanese internet-speak! What do! *Googles*


うp means up.

From upload.

And it's used by people who upload videos on Nico Nico, or art on Pixiv, or their images or image boards, or boards that aren't even actually image boards.

Did we seriously need to look that up?

It felt so daunting at first but it was so pathetically simple and obvious by the end. I'm sort of disappointed with myself.

But let's not be too harsh. You'd need to know romaji to figure this out, and practically everybody who knows Japanese and can use a computer knows romaji not that many people know romaji.

Also, the fact it's written with a letter is kind of distracting. I'm sure an English-speaker would prefer to say something with more katakana like:
  • appuroodo アップロード
  • appu アップ
    Up. Upload.
  • appu suru アップする
    To upload.
  • appu shita アップした

If it makes you feel better, there are Japanese pages covering this term, so some natives probably have had trouble with it before hopefully. (Pixiv Dictionary: うp )


The word for upload, アップ, is read appu, and pronounced like English's "up," so it うp pronounced the same way? Not exactly.

It can be read as apu あぷ, or appu あっぷ.

But it can also be read as upu うぷ or uppu うっぷ, then it's pronounced more like "oops!"

And it can even be read as upi うぴ or uppi うっぴ too, this one's because the name of the letter P in Japanese is pii ピー, pronounced "pee."

Basically, it's an internet slang, so trying to pronounce it is like trying to pronounce GIF right.


A word based on this うp is upu-nushi うp主. The word nushi 主 means "lord" or "owner," so upu-nushi うp主 would be the owner of the upu うp, in other words, the:
  • appuroodaa アップローダー

Note that aruji 主 and shu 主 are other readings for the same kanji, so upu-aruij うp主 and upu-shu うp主 are other ways people may read this word. (and of course, the api, upi variations, too)

あp, あp主

Since some people pronounce it appu instead of upu, sometimes you see it written as apu あp and apu-nushi あp主 instead of upu うp and upu-nushi うp主.


As the ancient proverbs foretolds: what goes up goes down. Therefore, the following words also exist:
  • daun ダウン
    daunroodo ダウンロード
  • daunroodaa ダウンローダー

And then there are the slangs どwn, "download," and どwn主, "downloader," which I hear they exist, but I haven't found if they are read differently (doun?), and I assume they aren't used as much because the uploader is one infinite times more important than the downloader.

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