Monday, February 11, 2019

よくも, Yokumo - Meaning in Japanese

In Japanese, yokumo よくも means "HOW DARE YOU?!?!?!?!?!" most of the time. Technically, it's just the adverb yoku よく intensified by mo も, and as such it can be used when good things happen, too, but it's mostly used when bad things happens, specially in anime.

The word can also be spelled yokumo 善くも, although that's unusual.

よくもぼくをォ!! だましたなァ!! quote from manga Historie, ヒストリエ (chapter 20)
Manga: Historie, Hisutorie ヒストリエ (chapter 20)


Basically, the adverb yoku よく can sometimes be used to compliment someone for doing something. To show approval for their acts. To say it's "impressive" for someone to do something. And so on. For example:

うむ よく来た quote from manga Gintama 銀魂 (chapter 45)
Manga: Gintama 銀魂 (chapter 45)
  • Context: characters arrive somewhere.
  • umu うむ
  • yoku kita よく来た
    [You] came well.
    • You've done well by coming.
    • Thank you for coming.
    • Coming here was a good idea. (if you didn't come that would've been bad.)
    • kita 来た
      Past form of the irregular verb:
    • kuru 来る
      To come.

The word yoku mo よくも is just an intensified version of it. It would be just the difference between "impressive" and "very impressive."
  • yoku mo konna ni tabeta
    It's very impressive [that you] ate this much.
    • I'm very impressed by how much you ate.

However, yoku isn't only used to say you're "impressed" in the sense of "amazed" by something good. The word yoku can also be used when you're "impressed" by how bad something is.

When yoku mo is used, it's often in the sense of being "very impressed " by how bad something is. For example:
  • yoku mo nagutta na
    It's very impressive [that you] hit [me].
    • Because that's nuts.
    • How dare you?!
    • HOW DARE YOU HIT ME?!?!?!?!?

So that's how it works: yoku mo doesn't literally mean "how dare you," it means you're dumbfounded that someone dared do something. And it's usually used by enraged characters to mean they're really not happy at all about it.

だました・・・・・・・・・ ぼくを・・・・・・・・・ よく・・・・・・も よくもぼくを・・・・・・・・・ quote from manga Historie, ヒストリエ (chapter 20)
Manga: Historie, Hisutorie ヒストリエ (chapter 20)
  • damashita.........
  • boku wo.........
  • yoku mo boku wo.........
  • (patience. He's taken by fury now. He'll yell a complete sentence in a moment.)

よくもぼくをォ!! だましたなァ!! quote from manga Historie, ヒストリエ (chapter 20)
Manga: Historie, Hisutorie ヒストリエ (chapter 20)

    • I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU LIED TO ME!!!!!!111234
    • ォァ
      These small kana were written to mean his screams are so strong the pronunciation of the vowels take longer than one mora.


The phrase yoku maa よくまあ is another variant of yoku. It's not used used in an angry sense of "HOW DARE YOU!?!?!?!?!" like yoku mo is. Instead, yoku maa inserts a breather like "well" between yoku and the rest of the phrase.

よくまあ、毎日毎日、おんなじことを・・・・・・ quote from manga Doraemon ドラえもん (chapter 71)
Manga: Doraemon ドラえもん (chapter 71)
  • yoku maa,
    mai nichi mai nichi,
    on'naji koto wo......

    It's impressive, well, [that you keep doing] the same thing every day, every day.
    • This phrase ends with the object marking particle wo を, but doesn't have a verb. We can safely assume the verb Doraemon is going to say is "do."
    • (although, to be honest, the word he actually used in the next panel was kurikaeshiteru くりかえしてる, "to be repeating [the same thing every day]," Basically the same thing, though.)

Besides yoku maa, the variants yoku zo よくぞ, yoku mo maa よくもまあ, etc. also exist.

Further Reading


No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

Comments made in bad faith or containing spoilers or language inappropriate for the post will be removed.