Friday, February 22, 2019

kakkowarui かっこ悪い - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, kakkowarui かっこ悪い means "lame." It's used when someone, something they wear, or something they do, is "uncool," or "un-stylish," "or un-fashioable", or leaves a bad impression in general. Variants include kakko-warui カッコ悪い, kakko-warii かっこワリぃ, and kakkou-warui 格好悪い.


Literally, kakkowarui かっこ悪い is the word kakko カッコ, an abbreviation of kakkou 格好, "appearance," plus the i-adjective warui 悪い, "bad." So it means "bad-appearance," or "bad-looking."

The way kakkowarui is used, however, is to refer to things that give a "bad impression," because they're lame, or toward people that look very bad in a certain moment, because they just did something lame.

  • kakkowarui!
    [It's] lame!
    [You look] lame!
    [You look] uncool!
    [You look] pathetic!

Anyway, the point is that kakkowarui stuff makes people think less of you, in a sense, because you're lame, or because you just lost face. So normally you don't want to be kakkowarui.

You want to be kakkoii かっこいい, the antonym of kakkowarui.

Sometimes, kakkowarui is used to say you should refrain from doing something because it looks lame. Because cool kids don't do that.

  • ijime wa kakkowarui
    Bullying is lame.
    • Cool kids don't bully others.

Note that kakkowarui can be translated as "looks lame," but it's not a verb, it's an adjective: "bad-looking."

  • kakkowarui hito
    Bad-looking person.
    Lame person.
    • This isn't a person who's "lame" in the sense they're old and say lame things that spoil the youths' fun, like "don't play with a ball indoors," etc.
    • It's used toward a person who looks lame, because of their appearance, or because they just did something that gave others a bad impression of them.
    • You don't want to be next to this person, people will think you're kakkowarui too.
  • kakkowarui fuku
    Bad-looking clothes.
    Lame clothes.
    • You have no sense for clothes or fashion.
    • You don't want to wear these clothes, they're kakkowarui.
  • kakkowarui kuruma
    Bad-looking car.
    Lame car.
    • You have no sense for cars.


Since warui is an i-adjective, kakkowarui is inflected as such:

  • kakkowarukatta
    Was lame.
    • That was lame.
    • Jesus, that was so lame.
  • ore wa kakkowarukatta
    I was lame.
    • Sorry, I did something that gave you a very bad impression of me.
    • Normally I'm cooler than that.
  • kakko warukunai!
    [It] isn't lame!
    [You] aren't lame!
    • You're cool!
    • I don't think less of you because of that.
    • Example: a guy fought a thief to protect a girl and lost. He thinks he's kakkowarui for losing and she'll think less of him. She says he's not kakkowarui, because she wouldn't think less of him for fighting to protect her, that's kakkoii, even if he lost.
  • kakkowarukute mo ii!
    It's alright even if you're lame!
    • I'll accept you regardless!
    • Abbreviation of kakkou, kakko, plus warui, conjugated to te-form, kute, plus mo particle, plus auxiliary adjective ii.
    • -temo-ii ~てもいい
      It's alright/okay/fine even if...
  • kakkowaruku mieru
    To look lame. (literally.)
    To be seen as lame.
    • kakkowaruku
      Adverbial form. Modifies verbs, such as mieru 見える, "to be seen [as lame]," "to appear [lame]."


In Japanese, kakkowarui tokoro かっこ悪い所 means "a situation in which [you] look lame," or "a side [of you] which is lame." It's sometimes abbreviated as kakkowarui toko かっこ悪いトコ.

オラ 財布どこだよ・・・? や・・・ヤバ過ぎるぜコイツ等・・・ 何でこんな事に・・・ しかもよりによって斉木と居る時に・・・ くっ・・・斉木さえ居なければ・・・すぐに払うのに!! 払うんかい だが斉木の前でカッコ悪ィ所見せる訳にはいかねェ・・・! やってやるぜ!! も・・・ もってねェよ!! お前のカッコ悪い所は見飽きてるぞ
Manga: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難 (Chapter 84, 海藤のΨ疑心(後編))
  • Context: Kaidou Shun 海藤瞬 is attacked by delinquents who want his money.
  • ora, saifu φ doko da yo...?
    オラ 財布どこだよ・・・?
    [Come on], where is [your] wallet...?
  • gui'
    (mimetic word.)
  • ya... yaba-sugiru ze, koitsu-ra...
    T... these guys are too dangerous...
  • nande konna koto ni...
    Why did [it] turn out like this...
    (incomplete sentence.)
  • shikamo yori ni yotte {Saiki to iru} toki ni...
    And just when {[I] am with Saiki}, of all times...
  • ku'... Saiki sae inakereba... {sugu ni} harau no ni
    Kuh... If only Saiki wasn't here... [I]'d pay [it] {immediately}!!
  • harau-n-kai
    [You]'d pay?
  • daga {Saiki no mae de kakko-warii tokoro φ miseru} wake niwa ikanee...
    But there's no way {[I] am going to look lame in front of Saiki}.
    • {kakko-warui} tokoro wo miseru
      To show a spot [that] {looks bad}. (literally.)
      To show yourself looking bad.
      To show a lame side of yourself.
  • yatte-yaru ze!!
    [I]'m going to do [it]!
  • mo... mottenee yo!!
    [I].... [I] don't have [my wallet] with [me]!!
  • omae no kakko-warui tokoro wa mi-akiteru zo
    I'm [already] tired of seeing you looking lame.
    • In the sense of: don't worry about it appearances, I have already seen it.


Note that sometimes other words are used instead of kakkowarui, like:

  • dasai
  • otonagenai
    No air of adult.
    • Not behaving like an adult. Behaving like a child. Being immature.
    • Being otonagenai makes you look kakkowarui.
  • nasakenai
    • Unworthy of:
    • nasake
      Pity. Sympathy.


kakkou 格好 Adjectives

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