14 Japanese words to mean "You"

In Japanese, we don't use the word 「あなた」or「きみ」so often which are equivalent to 'you' in English. Instead of the word, we use someone's name to address people. But when we would like to add some nuance, other expressions might be used.

(Name)

- Used by both male and female

- Formality depends on the honorific used. Nomally we use 'さん' after the name

あなた

- Formal/informal

- Used by both male and female

- The name of the addressee is better. Commonly used by women to address their husband or lover, in a way roughly equivalent to the English "dear".

あんた

- Informal

- Used by both male and female

- A version of あなた . Similar to おまえ. Often expresses contempt or familiarity towards a person.

- Generally seen as rude or uneducated

おたく

- Formal/ informal

- Used by both male and female

- A polite way of saying "your house", also used as a pronoun to address a person with slight sense of distance. おたく/オタッキー turned into a slang term referring to a type of geek/obsessive hobbyist, as they often addressed each other as おたく.

おまえ / お前

- Very informal

- Used by both male and female

- Used by men with more frequency, but also used by women. Expresses contempt/anger, the speaker's higher status or age, or a very casual relationship among peers. Used with おれ .

- It should never be said to an elderly

てまえ / 手前

- Rude and confrontational

- Used mainly by men

- Used when the speaker is very angry

きさま / 貴様

- Extremely hostile and rude

- Used mainly by men

- Historically very formal, but has developed in an ironic sense to show the speaker's extreme hostility / outrage towards the addressee

きみ / 君

- Informal

- Used by both male and female

- The same kanji is used to write 君 (くん). Sometimes rude or assuming when used with superiors, elders or strangers.

おのれ / 己

- Used by male

- The word おのれ, as well as the kanji used to transcribe it, literally means "oneself". It is humble when used as a first person pronoun and hostile when used as a second person pronoun.

おぬし / 御主

- Used by male

- Used by ninja and samurai to talk to people of equal or lower rank. Literally means "master"

おやじ / 親父

- Used by male

- Very informal

- Originally it means ' my father'.And now it is used when speaking to old men.

そなた

- Used by both male and female

- Used when speaking to an inferior in a pompous and old-fashioned tone

あのかた / あの方

- Very formal

- Used by both male and female

おんしゃ / 御社

- Formal (business term)

- Used by both male and female

- Used to the listener representing your company

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