Sunday, September 27, 2009

from: trellz
date: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM
subject: tatoo submission

Should say stupid American, or stupid foreign person.

Picture 140

美国人 is Chinese for "American".

However 阿呆 (or あほ) is a localize dialect for "fool, jackass" in Japan's Kansai region. Where most Japanese would use 馬鹿 as "stupid". Also, 米囯人 is Japanese for "American".

is correct Chinese for "stupid".


  1. 阿呆, more commonly written in kana as アホ(ウ), is perfectly acceptable Japanese all over Japan. 馬鹿, again more commonly written in kana as バカ, is synonymous. The usage of the two words generally depends on the region. In western Japanese, aho is stronger than baka, while it is the opposite in eastern Japanese.

    However, I suppose your point was more about mixing Chinese and Japanese vocabulary in the same tattoo.

  2. Maybe it's some sort of meta-ironic commentary. The stupid American is so stupid that he can't even get "stupid American" tattooed on his leg properly.

  3. Anonymous is correct that "aho" is not a dialectical word but standard Japanese; it's the strength of it that varies according to dialect.

    But, yes, the rest of the tattoo is an issue. Who'd want such an obnoxious tattoo anyway? I guess that question answers itself.

  4. I'm with jfruh - how stupid of the American to get a tattoo of 'stupid American,' while getting the combination incorrect. HA!

    (Also, since 'baka' was a Japanese word that was later given Chinese characters that phonetically fit the Japanese, there are several different ways in which it can be written. The most common of which is 馬鹿, but has been other things at other times.)

  5. Now, I beg to differ on this point.

    Sure, if 阿呆 is written as アホ(ウ), the Japanese-Chinese combination would've been something of a real irony. However, in dialectical Mandarin, 阿呆 could be interpreted literally as a dimunitive form of "Silly, not-bright" person. (阿 as the dimunitive. 呆 for 呆子).

    So... depending on where the tattoo was done, 阿呆美國人 really does mean "Silly American".

  6. Anonymous @6:53 PM:
    I think you're right. 阿呆 is in fact used as a translation of "dumb" into Chinese. The Chinese title of the Jim Carrey film "Dumb and Dumber" is 阿呆与阿瓜. See:

    So I guess 阿呆美國人 is more like "Dumb American" but I guess that's close enough.

    It's still a pretty silly thing to get tattooed in huge letters on your leg, tho.

    I wonder if the tattooee is a fan of Green Day's "American Idiot" (great song, IMHO).


  7. Additionally, if I were to use アホ as an adjective, I'd probably say アホな. Thus:

    I don't know if there's a particular grammatical need for that; this just "sounds right" to me. KF

  8. Like Alan Siegrist said, "阿呆美國人" is not incorrect, just colloquial and a bit uncommon.

    BTW with "愚蠢" it should be "愚蠢的美國人", without 的 I'd use "蠢美國人" instead.

  9. I think that both Chinese and Japanese people would consider him dumb for getting a tattoo like that; therefore, the characters are inclusive and appropriate. Right? Right? *crickets*

  10. i laughed like hell when i saw this picture.....!!!!
    I'm sorry with my misbehaviour...
    i can't imagine if the tattoo owner doesn't know what does it mean while he still think that "that's a pretty cool tattoo.."

  11. I loved it....あほ...I learned that one when one of my Japanese buddies was getting frustrated by some guy talking to his girl buddy. They scowled and said: "Gah, this person keeps saying あほ but they're an あほ."

    Since the eight year old kids in my nieghborhood couldn't understand me, I can't really comment on whether あほ or ばか is stronger. I just keep to the profanities I know best, those in English. ;)

  12. It's 100% Chinese.
    阿呆 pronouced "adai".
    Problem is "美国人", Japanese can't figure out what's this, because in Japanese, US=米国(Nation full of rice)。
    In Chinese, 美国 means "beautiful country".

    I saw some foreign's tatum are extremly funny, just like:
    狂瀉=diarrhea badly
    免費乘坐硬摸=You can ride or touch me for free
    我不吃肉、但是我咬=I don't eat meat, but I bite.
    無惡不作=Do nothing without all the evil ones
    芝麻雞=Sesame Chicken(a Chinese food)
    金猪=Golden Pig
    友誼庭家=It should be 友誼 家庭=Friendship Family

    Also, lots of foreigners' tatum in Chinese characters, nobody can't figure out, it just like some monkey just screwed your computer and typed lots of meaningless words. Btw, I'm Taiwan, I can read both Chinese and Japanese.

  13. In Chinese, 美国 does mean "America", "美国人"is"Amerian".

    "阿呆美国人" = "stupid American" , FOR SURE.