21+ Cool Japanese Words & Phrases for Sugoi Japanese Learners

Learning Japanese? If not, go away.

This article is only for cool people looking to learn some cool Japanese words and phrases.

So, if you’re cool like that, crank up your AC, grab some ice cream out of the freezer and read on, you cool cat.

By the way, if you want to hear REAL Japanese, check out this audio lesson by JapanesePod101. Press play below. Why? It’s one thing to read about Japanese and another to hear native speakers — you learn faster!

 

1. Sugoi (すごい) is a Cool Japanese Word

“Sugoi” is a common word and the most basic way to say “cool” in Japanese. So, if you’re learning some cool Japanese words, then you should start here. This word is pronounced as “soo-goy.”

cool japanese words

If you walk away from this article remembering just one word, let it be “sugoi!”

2. Sugee! (スゲー!) – Cool!/Wow!/Awesome!

This phrase comes from the word above – sugoi – meaning “cool” or “awesome”. When it is used as “Sugee!”, it comes across as more casual and youthful. If you see someone do a cool trick on their skateboard you could say “Sugee!”.

3. Suzushii (涼しい) Cool (weather-wise)

There’s “cool” and then there’s cool weather. If you want to talk about cool weather, which may or not not be a cool conversation topic, you can use this word. So, that’s why you’re learning “suzushii” on this list of cool Japanese words.

cool japanese words

4. Yabai! (ヤバイ!) – That’s crazy!

This is another common way to say “cool” in Japanese. Remember this word, “yabai.”

You can use this phrase for anything that is crazy! It can be used in a good or a bad way. If you see a crazy sale at the store or a crazy man walking around, you can use the phrase in both situations. It’s also common to see this phrase shortened to “yaba!” (ヤバっ!).

cool japanese words

5. Kuuru da ne! (クールだね!) – You’re cool!

This phrase uses the word “cool”, but with Katakana characters, which are used for foreign words.

You can use this phrase towards someone who is slightly aloof and edgy. In Japanese, English words are often considered cool and trendy. You may notice that many pop songs or T-shirts in Japan have random English words! 

cool japanese words

6. Kakkoii! (カッコイイ!) – So handsome!

This phrase is commonly heard in animes or dramas, especially when women are talking about men. “Kakkoii!” means handsome and admirable. Use this towards someone who not only has attractive looks but also a cool character!

cool japanese words

7. Ukeru! (ウケる!) – That’s funny!

“Ukeru!” can be used when someone tells you something funny or you hear about something that you find comical. It’s slang, so it’s mostly used by the younger generation. 

cool japanese words

8. Maji? (まじ?) – For real?

If you hear about something that is surprising and hard to believe, use maji?. It comes from the word “majime”, which means “serious”. It’s an informal phrase that means “for real?” or “seriously?”. It’s especially common to use with close friends! 

cool japanese words

9. Meshi ikanai? (飯いかない?) – Wanna go for food?

This is a cool way to ask someone to get food with you. It gives off a casual vibe, and it’s most often used by men. In Japanese, there are many different styles of speech that are tied into the grammar. This is one the examples of a casual masculine way of talking.

cool japanese phrases

10. Chou_____! (チョウ___!) – Really _______!

This is a useful phrase to add emphasis to an adjective. You can add words like “cool”, “handsome”, “cute”, etc… This is a really informal way of talking so make sure to only use it with friends!

cool japanese phrases

11. Ossu (おっス!) – What’s up?

If you need a casual way to say “what’s up?”, this is the perfect phrase! It’s usually accompanied by a head nod. In English, it might be more similar to “Yo!”. It’s more like a greeting than a question!

cool japanese phrases

12. Ikeru! (イケる!) – Amazing!

This is a cool way to say that something is “amazing!”. It’s commonly used to describe delicious foods, but it can even be used to describe the music that you like.

13. Shareteru! (しゃれてる!) – Fancy or Fashionable

This is a classy phrase that can be used to describe fancy or trendy places. A fancy boutique with a tasteful interior or a cafe with beautiful desserts and furniture could be described with this phrase.

14. Bucchake, dou iu koto? (ぶっちゃけ、どう言う事?) – Honestly, what do you mean?

If you’re with some close friends or people you can be honest with, use this phrase to ask what they really mean. “Bucchake” is a great word when you need someone to answer sincerely and honestly. In Japan, it’s common not to say how you really feel to others so this is a great way to know what a person really means.

cool japanese phrases

15. Otsukare (お疲れ!)- Good work!

This is a cool Japanese word that doesn’t have a good translation in English. It’s a phrase that you say to someone to acknowledge their hard work. It can be said after working long hours on a group project or when leaving work to go home.

cool japanese words

16. Meccha _____! (メッチャ_____!)- Super ______! 

This is another phrase that can emphasize adjectives. You can use this phrase with words like “cheap”, “expensive”, “delicious”, “good looking”, etc… It’s usually used by younger people, especially teenagers.

cool japanese phrases

17. Onaka ga peko peko! (お腹がペコペコ!) – I’m so hungry!

This is a fun way to say that you’re hungry. It uses an onomatopoeia “peko peko”, which is the sound your stomach might make if it’s hungry!

cool japanese phrases

18. Kyou wa gattsuri taberuzo! (今日はガッツリ食べるぞ) – I’m gonna eat a lot today!

If you’re about to eat a big meal, try out this phrase! “Gattsuri” represents the sound of someone eating vigorously. 

cool japanese phrases

19. Mendokusai! (めんどくさい!) – So annoying or bothersome!

This is a phrase that describes when you feel annoyed by lots of work or chores. It’s a unique Japanese phrase that doesn’t quite have an exact English translation. It’s used towards actions that you have to take care of that you don’t feel like doing! 

cool japanese phrases

20. Doki doki suru! (ドキドキする!) – I’m nervous/excited!

“Doki doki” represents the sound of the beating heart. Use this phrase if you’re looking forward to meeting someone, especially someone you have feelings for! It’s a neat phrase that describes the feeling of your heartbeat getting faster, when you’re nervous but also excited.

cool japanese phrases

21. Bimyou. (微妙。)- It’s questionable.

This is a phrase you can use if something is not quite good or bad. However, it’s usually a negative connotation. For example, if you ordered something that sounded interesting or cool at a restaurant but the concept just didn’t work. It can also work for things like clothing. Maybe you thought something would look good but it didn’t work out.

cool japanese phrases

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Now you know a whole bunch of cool Japanese words and phrases.

Also, if you want to learn some beautiful Japanese words, then check my other post here.

Do you know any other cool words?

Leave a comment below.

Stay cool,

The Main Lingua Junkie