Weeb – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Is someone in your life so obsessed with anime, and Japanese culture in general, that they talk about little else? You may want to refer to that person as a “weeb”.

We’ll explore the meaning and origins of this term, and show you how to use weeb in a sentence.

Meaning

The derogatory slang term “weeb”, which is a shortened form of “weeaboo”, describes someone who has become obssessed with anime and Japanese culture (as they interpret it).

The term is typically reserved for people who are so engrossed in Japanese culture (again, as they see it, because many have never been to Japan) that they reject their own cultural context. A weeb may seek to dress in Japanese-made clothes, eat Japanese foods, and consume only Japanese media content, for example.

Sometimes, “weeb” is simply used to describe anyone who enjoys anime or other aspects of Japanese culture, however.

Example Usage

If you don’t have a clue about the ways in which you could use the word “weeb” in a sentence, these examples can change that for you:

  • My brother’s become such a weeb. He watches anime 24/7, and though he only knows about five Japanese words, he says them about 20 times every sentence. It’s exhausting!
  • Nah bro, I’m not a weeb! I only watch Naruto and that’s about as mainstream as you can get.
  • Opening a store that only sells Japanese merch, like matcha Kit-Kats and Hello Kitty accessories, would make for a great business idea. All the weebs would clean the store out in days and you’d rake in the cash.

Origin

Weeb” came about as a result of a surprisingly long and interesting journey.

In the early 2000s, when Western (and especially American) young people began to become obsessed with anime and other aspects of Japanese culture, the slang “Wapanese” was created to describe them. Wapanese merges “Western”, “white”, or “wannabe” with “Japanese”.

As this derogatory term, which may or may not have been coined on the infamous website 4chan but was certainly widely used there, became more popular, 4chan decided to replace all references to it with the random and made-up word “weeaboo”. This word quickly spread beyond 4chan.

Weeaboo came to have the same meaning as “Wapanese” — someone who is creepily obsessed with Japanese popular culture and particularly anime (including particular offshoots such as “hentai”, or anime pornography).

In modern “woke” terms, a weeaboo is someone who engages in cultural appropriation. They cherry-pick the aspects of Japanese culture that they enjoy and sometimes consider themselves “practically Japanese” because of their interest.

It was eventually shortened to “weeb”, which gained its first entry on Urban Dictionary in 2011, by which time weeb was already used on Twitter.

Note that:

  • Some people use “weeb” to have the same meaning as “weeaboo”.
  • Others describe people who are fans of Japanese culture but lack the obsessive characteristics associated with weeaboos as weebs. In this context, a weeb is essentially “weeaboo lite”.

Words Similar to Weeb

Words used to describe those who really, really like anime and Japanese culture include:

  • Weeaboo.
  • Wapanese.
  • Otaku, which specifically refers to anime and manga fans.

Words Opposite to Weeb

An “anime hater” is someone who hates anime and dislikes people who do like anime, often without ever having watched anime.

What Is the Correct Word?

The correct word is “weeb”, which is the shortened version of “weeaboo”. It means someone who is obsessed with Japanese culture.

Ways People May Say Weeb Incorrectly

You may be tempted to call anyone who loves a particular anime show, or who has an anime avatar, a weeb. That would not be correct, as weebs are obsessed with multiple aspects of Japanese culture and invest a lot of their time and money into showing this.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Weeb

You can use the word “weeb” to describe people who are absolutely obsessed with Japan and anime. These people typically go to great lengths to collect Japanese merchandise and spend much of their free time engrossed in Japanese shows.

If you decide to call someone a weeb to their face, however, understand that this word is understood to be an insult. Expect conflict to follow.

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