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16 Ways to Say Cool in Japanese – Language Lesson


Hey Junkies!

Do you want to know ALL the ways to say Cool in Japanese?

Here’s a list of phrases that you can use in all kinds of situations. Some are the literal cool. Others are weather “cool.” And the rest deal with “cool looks.” You’ll learn them all.

Don’t forget to:

  • Read these out loud and practice
  • Print this out for reference
  • Try to use them in actual conversations   
  • Check out the Japanese learning program below

say cool in japanese

Now, let’s start with our “cool” phrases!

Simple and easy!

Want to learn how to write in Japanese? Download your FREE Japanese Alphabet eBook here (click here).

1. Cool – かっこいい

  • Kakkoii
  • Meaning: cool (good looking or a generally cool/impressive person)

The closest and most direct translation of “cool” in English, is the word “かっこいい”. Usually, you can use this to relate to someone or something that you find as “cool” or “smart and good looking.” Outside of looks, you can also use this word to describe people you think are cool, like athletes, artists, and anyone with some impressive talent or skill.

say cool in japanese

A more slangy variation of this is:

  • かっけー
  • kakkee

2. Crazy やばい

  • Yabai
  • Meaning: Crazy, very. Can be used to intensify verbs and adjectives.

This is one of the best ways to say cool in Japanese. Literally it means “Crazy,” but it can mean crazy good and crazy bad or “That’s crazy!” 

“Yabai” can also be an intensifier for adjectives or verbs in a good or bad way as well. Kind of like you can say “crazy/really hungry” or “really cool.”

say cool in japanese

3. Nice いいね

  • ii ne
  • Meaning: Nice, that’s cool, I like that.

This is another useful word you can use when you just want to casually agree to something, or give your subtle nod of approval like “That’s cool.” In fact, “ii ne” is the Japanese version of the social media “thumbs up/like.”

say cool in japanese

4. Cool クール

  • Kuuru
  • Meaning: cool (Borrowed from English)

You can use this word about someone you think is “calm and collected”. Someone you think that exudes coolness by not showing much emotion. Think James Dean type of cool.

say cool in japanese

5. Cool  涼しい

  • suzushii
  • Meaning: cool (weather-wise)

Want another way to say cool in Japanese? How about “cool” weather? If you want to talk about how chilly it is outside, use “suzushii.” This one of the more common Japanese weather words to know.

say cool in japanese

6. Good taste センスが良い

  • Sensu ga ii
  • Meaning: “sense” is good

“センス” comes from the English word “Sense”, but don’t mistake it from the actual meaning in English. In Japanese, it is equivalent to the word “Taste”. You can use “センスが良い” in many different scenarios. You can tell someone they are fashionable, or that have good taste in food, art, and the likes. If a friend chooses the next place for your get together, you can tell them “センス良いね (sensu ii ne)”.

say cool in japanese

7. Calm 落ち着いている

  • Ochitsuiteiru
  • Meaning: Calm, collected

You can use this phrase to tell someone that they are mature and cool. Often times, coolness in English is associated with calm, collected, and someone who shows very little emotion. This is no different in Japanese.

say cool in japanese

8. Classic (old school cool) 渋い

  • Shibui
  • Meaning: Bitter (literal)

The literal translation is “bitter” or “plain”. It may seem very off from cool, but “渋い” is often associated with the taste of coffee, or expressing someone who has wisdom with a certain class to them. You can use this to express someone who is cool and calm.

9. Attractive イケてる

  • iketeru

This is close to the word “イケメン”. The first part of the word “イケ” comes from the word “いかしてる (ikashiteru)” to mean “cool” or “attractive”.

say cool in japanese

10. Cool/Handsome イケメン

  • Ikemen
  • Meaning: good looking guy/handsome/cool

Cool is also associated to looks and overall attractiveness in Japanese just like in English.

So, you can use “イケメン” if you think a particular male is good-looking or handsome. This isn’t used for women, but you can use the word “美人” to say that a female is good-looking or beautiful.

say cool in japanese

11. Dandy ダンディー

  • Dandii
  • Meaning: fashionable (for older guys)

This is a term usually used for middle aged men who you think dress in a mature classic way. 

say cool in japanese

12. Dapper キマってる

  • キマってる
  • kimatteru

This is a slang that comes from the word “決める” which means “to make a decision”. However, a mixture of katakana and hiragana is used to distinguish it from the original word and its meaning.

If a friend, particularly a male friend, comes to a party well-dressed, or if you think that they’ve put some thought and effort in their appearance, you can tell them “キマってる!”

say cool in japanese

13. Fashionable お洒落

  • Oshare
  • Meaning: stylish/fashionable.

You can use this phrase to anyone you think is fashionable. You may also see it around in katakana written as “オシャレ”. This is usually used for women.

say cool in japanese

14. Stylish スタイリッシュ

  • Sutairisshu
  • Meaning: same as English – stylish

Another way to compliment someone’s taste in clothing is calling them “スタイリッシュ”. You can use it in the same way you use “おしゃれ”.

say cool in japanese

15. Smart-looking スマート

  • sumaato
  • Meaning: Looks good/slim/well-dressed.

This word often comes from the English word “smart.” But you can use it to refer to the physical attractiveness of a person. In mainstream Japanese media, “スマート” is often used to describe a man who looks good in well-fitted business suit.

Or, someone who seems intellectual judging by the way they look. Fun fact: Sometimes, Japanese people use “スマート” to mean “slim, too.

say cool in japanese

16. Chic シック

  •  Shikku
  • Meaning: chic in a fashionabls/sophisticated way

Just like the English word “Chic” pronounced as “sheek”, you can use this to refer to someone stylish and fashionable, often used for women that dress in a professional or sophisticated way. Next time you meet a girl and want to compliment their outfit, give them a quick comment like “今日、シックだね (Kyou, shikku dane)”.

say cool in japanese

Conclusion: How to Say Cool in Japanese.

Now you know all the cool ways to say cool in Japanese.

They are all quite simple and easy to use.

All you’ve got to do is sneak them in in your Japanese conversations!

Want to learn even more words and learn Japanese? Check out my other posts:

Or, stop reading articles and check my recommended Japanese learning program below.

Good luck Junkies!

– The Main Junkie

P.S. Want to learn & speak the Japanese language?

Check out JapanesePod101, a complete Japanese learning program with audio and video lessons, apps, study tools and PDF lesson notes. I think their lessons can and will help you learn and speak Japanese to a certain level.

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