Translations dictionary

baka gaijin

[bah-kuh gahy-zheen]

What does baka gaijin mean?

The expression baka gaijin means “stupid foreigner” in Japanese.

Related words

desu, weeaboo, otaku, kawaii, baka, wwww, waifu, neko

Where does baka gaijin come from?

Baka gaijin is romaji for the Japanese kanji 馬鹿外人. Baka (attested in the 14th century) means “a fool” or “foolish.” Gaijin, the Japanese word for “foreigner,” is attested in the 13th-century. Gai (外) literally means  “outside,” and jin (人) means “person.”

Together, baka gaijin is a “stupid foreigner.” The expression itself is attested by at least the 1970s in kanji and by 1989 in romaji. It is used by Japanese people for non-Japanese people they think are acting inappropriately. Baka can be insulting or, more mildly, disapproving.

By at least 1995, baka gaijin surfaced in online message boards about manga, or Japanese comics. In this context, even people who weren’t Japanese were using baka gaijin as an insult to people who didn’t intimately understand manga, or to anyone who says or does something the manga community deems stupid or inappropriate.

Examples of baka gaijin

I don’t know what happened to japanese game companies during the 360 era but they really got their shit together to assert dominance over the Baka gaijin
@HeteroGaming, January 2019
As one of the biggest attractions in one of Japan’s top wrestling promotions, Stardom World, [Kimberly "The Viper" Benson] is the top baddie in the sport, and referred to as baka gaijin – which means stupid foreigner.
Colan Lamont, Daily Record (Scotland), January 2017

Who uses baka gaijin?

The expression baka gaijin is primarily used, of course, by Japanese people. It’s mildly pejorative—and certainly dismissive.

Baka gaijin is also used by non-Japanese admirers of Japanese culture in self-deprecation, or in response to behavior considered silly or uncouth in the eyes of Japan. There is even apparel emblazoned with baka gaijin.

Many of these admirers are Western lovers of manga and anime (otaku). They’ve adopted baka gaijin—along with baka and many other Japanese words—to describe people who fail to follow various conventions in the community and art forms.

Then there is the guy who went on vacation to Japan and asked for a tattoo reading God Almighty in kanji. But he got a tattoo that said baka gaijin.


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