You, you, you. It sometimes really is all about you. You already know 100 ways to say I. Well sometimes you can’t just talk about yourself and you actually have to engage whoever is listening to you. Luckily for you, not only can you refer to yourself in a seemingly near infinite number of ways, but you can refer to other people in just as many exciting ways.
Now I told you there were over a hundred ways to say I. You laughs at weak little I. There are hundreds of more ways to say you. You takes your status/position in society and makes it into a pronoun. This leaves room for a lot of you’s.
Since the combinations would feel endless, I’m limiting this post to 100. Feel free to add more in the comments.
Good news though. Most people just drop the use of “you” in many sentences as is often just not needed. Saves you some unnecessary stress.
But anyway, let’s get it started right.
Polite and normal
1. あなた : Considered the most harmless way to say “you.” Not to be used with parents or when showing respect. Sometimes used by wives towards their husbands.
2. そちら: Standard polite situation you. Can add 様(さま) to sound more formal.
3. 御宅(おたく): Standard polite.
4. お前(おまえ): Often used between guys who are friends. Also used by family members to other family members of lower status than them (ex. Older brother to younger brother). Originally the polite version of you. Depending on the person, considered as rude.
5. オメェ: Slang version of the above.
6. あんた: In Eastern Japan (Kanto), considered rude and insulting. In western Japan(Kinki), considered friendly and endearing.
7. お前さん(おまえさん): Similar to あんた
8. おまいさん: Variation on お前さん
9. 自分(じぶん): Means both you and I.
10. 君(きみ): Used by men to those of equal or lower status. Recently used by couples or lovers. “You” of choice in pop songs.
11. わい: Used in Kyushuu. Depending on the region, it means I and not you.
Used towards an enemy
12. てめぇ: Very common in anime and manga. Originally meant I.
13. 己(おのれ): Also originally meant I. Used often by Yakuza or by people in the middle of a fight.
14-17. おどれ、おんどれ、おどりゃ、おんどりゃ: All slang variations on おのれ.
18. 貴様(きさま): Originally polite.
19. きさん: Variation of 貴様 used in Kyushuu but not with your enemy.
20. 我(われ): Used in parts of Northern and Western Japan. Also means I.
21. わ: Same as 我
The following are used towards someone who is representing a:
22. 貴社(きしゃ): company
23. 御社(おんしゃ): company
24. 貴店(きてん): store
25. 貴局(ききょく): a 局(きょく). Example: broadcasting company, post office, water bureau.
26. 貴紙(きし): newspaper company
27. 貴学(きがく): university
28. 貴校(きこう): school
29. 貴園(きえん): kindergarten
30. 貴サイト(きさいと): website
Within any company (big and small), there are several positions which are used as “you.” Too many to name but the main ones are:
31. 店長(てんちょう): store owner
32. 課長(かちょう): section chief
33. 部長(ぶちょう): department chief
34. 副社長(ふくしゃちょう): vice president
35. 社長(しゃちょう): president
Usually if it is your own company, さん is not attached. If you are addressing someone from another company, it is added.
Using the listener’s name
Most common way to use “you”
36. Last name by itself: Casual and friendly. Often used by classmates with each other.
37. First name by itself: even more casual and friendly. Very common and used by men and women of all ages.
38. Last name + さん: Polite
39. Last name + 様(さま): More polite (but awkward depending on context).
40. First name + さん: Somewhat polite
41. First name + 様: Somewhat polite (but awkward depending on context).
42. First name + ちゃん: affectionate and endearing. Used with children, close friends, lovers, etc.
43. First name + くん: Mostly used towards young boys to young adult men, especially in school.
44. 貴兄(きけい): Used by men to those with equal or higher status than them.
45. 貴姉(きし): Used by men to women equal or older than them.
46. 貴君(きくん): Used by men to men with equal or lower status.
47. 汝(なんじ): Often considered similar to “thou,” but depending on the type of literature, results as a bad translation.
48-50. そち、そなた、その方(そのほう): Used by a person of higher status to a person of lower
51-52. 貴君(きくん), 貴公(きこう): Used to a person of equal or lower status.
53. 貴殿(きでん): Used to a person of higher or equal status, and in letters.
54-55. 主(ぬし)、お主(おぬし): The attached お was the much more common version.
56. 汝(うぬ)： Used to insult your enemies.
57-58. 御身（おんみ、おみ）: Standard
59. 御許（おもと）: Used towards women, especially wives.
60. 此方（こなた）: Also means I or he/she.
61. 卿(けい): Monarch uses towards his subjects.
Used towards the following to show respect:
63. Master (of an art)
68. Manga Artist
69. 先輩(せんぱい): Mostly used at school by someone of a lower class year to a higher class year.
The below two sections work nearly identically to the I usage, except in reverse:
Used towards family members of higher roles
70. 父さん (とうさん): Used to a father.
71. 母さん (かあさん): Used to a mother.
72. 姉さん (ねえさん）: Used to an older sister.
73. 兄さん（にいさん）: Used to an older brother.
74. 爺さん（じいさん）: Used to a grandfather
75. 婆さん (ばあさん) : Used to a grandmother
76. おじさん: Used to an uncle
77. おばさん: Used to an aunt
78-86: All さん attached can be ちゃん instead. お may also be attached at the beginning. I’m counting these as 10 variations on the above (also covering 89-92 below).
87. パパ: Used to a father (variant of 父さん)
88. ママ: Used to a mother (variant of 母さん)
Note: Sometimes a family member adds his name before his family role, especially if there is more than one of that family member type. Example: ともこおばさん might be used for someone named Tomoko who is one of the child’s multiple aunts.
These are used towards people who you don’t know, or know but are unrelated, or are related, but not related in the ways above.
Ages are all estimates because it is so varied, and there are really no set rules.
89. 姉さん (ねえさん）: Used to a woman around 13 to 30.
90. 兄さん（にいさん）: Used to a guy around 13 to 30.
91. 爺さん（じいさん）: Used to an older man around 65+
92. 婆さん (ばあさん) : Used to an older woman around 65+
Note: The same as above, all さん attached can also be ちゃん instead, and お may also be included.
93. おじさん: Used to a man around 30 to 65.
94. 親父 (おやじ) : Used to a man around 30 to 65 similar to おじさん.
95. おばさん: Used to a woman around 30 to 65.
Children the speaker doesn’t know
The following are all looking down (slightly condescending) on children.
96. 小僧（こぞう）: Towards a boy
97.小娘（こむすめ）: Towards a girl
98-99. ガキ・糞ガキ(クソガキ): Towards a young child when you want to be slightly more insulting.
100. 女(おんな): Used by a man to a woman he doesn’t know when he wants to be overly macho and sexist.
Which are your favorite you’s? Where have you seen or read some of the lesser used you’s? Which do you plan on trying out? Any you’ve come across that aren’t included in this list?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.