Japanese Slang やばい (yabai)

Japanese Slang やばい (yabai)

There are many slang terms in Japanese! It helps you to understand Manga or Anime etc… Have you ever heard of やばい? Let’s check it out!



The original meaning was “terrible”. But now, it means a lot actually. Sometimes, it is “So good!,” at other times it means, “Terrible!”, “Cute”,”Beautiful”,”Happy”,”delicious”,”amazing”, or “dangerous.”You need to figure out the meaning from the context. If you use the word a lot, people will regard you as not educated person, or childish person. So please be careful.


Example sentences

Here are the example sentences from the elephant seal conversation:

  • Elephant seal A:あ、ジェシカちゃんだ!今日もかわいいよねー。/Look, Jessica is over there. She is hot today too.
  • Elephant seal B:うん、ジェシカちゃん、やばいよねー。/Yeah, she is yabai
  • Elephant seal A:付き合えたらやばいよね・・・/It is yabai if I could go out with her.
  • Elephant seal B:お前のこと好きらしいぞ。/She seems to like you.
  • Elephant seal A:え?え?ちょ、ま、まじ?や、やヤバ、ヤバヤバーーーーイ。/ha!wh- What?! is it true? ya, ya, yaba,yaba,yaba–i!

other example:

  • やばい、遅刻しそうだ(Shit! I am almost late for school..)
  • (高級レストランにて) これやばいね!(At an fancy restaurant)This is so delicious!
  • (寝坊して)やばーーい!(waking up late) Shit!
  • やばっ!財布落とした!Gosh! I dropped my wallet!
  • やっば!道に迷った!Oh shit! I lost my way!
  • やばいねー!ちょーかわいいー!Incredible! That’s so cute!

So, there is no particular meaning of やばい, if I define the meaning, it would be “very + adjective”. Any adjective suits but you need to guess from the context.


Now you understand やばい (yabai)

I hope you understand the meaning of やばい, but as I mentioned please do not use this cheap expression a lot. It’s too easy to use the useful word because the word means everything, which means nothing. If you use that a lot… I guess you are やばい!

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Taka, Aquarium manager


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