See also: ワイ


Etymology 1Edit

Alternative spelling

Generally regarded as a shift from わし (washi), itself from (watashi, I, me).[1][2] First cited in a text from 1920,[1] but likely older.

The second-person sense of you likely arose via the same general indirection mechanisms that gave rise to all Japanese personal pronouns. Consider also ancient (na) or more modern (onore), used for both first- and second-person referral. This usage is first cited in a text from 1923,[1] but is likely older.



わい (wai

  1. (dialect, Kansai, Kagoshima) I, me (first-person pronoun, mainly used by males)
  2. you (second-person pronoun, used when addressing an equal or inferior)
    Synonym: お前 (omae)

Etymology 2Edit

See (i).


わい (wai

  1. (dated or dialectal) A particle used in the end of sentences to indicate admiration or emotion. Slightly stronger than (wa).
Usage notesEdit

Mainly used during the Edo period. Now only used by elderly males or in dialectal speech.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

Various Sino-Japanese roots.


わい (wai

  1. : askew; crooked
  2. : obscene; lewd
  3. : corner; nook; recess; inlet
  4. : low; short
  5. : bribe
  6. : dirty


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN