What Is The Meaning Of Dattebayo In Anime?

If you are a true anime fan, I’m pretty sure that you have heard of the term “Dattebayo.” Like many other terms that have become somewhat famous due to social media, Dattebayo is no different. In this generation, where anime/weeb culture is highly popularised, it can be a bit hard to keep track of all such words that we come across. We have encountered many terms that we haven’t heard before. For example, the words “senpai”(meaning senior/master) or “kawaii”(meaning cute). These are words from the Japanese language but are exceptionally known because of their everyday use in anime. Today we will learn more about the term Dattebayo and where it came from.

Meaning Of Dattebayo

You must have heard of the anime naruto. It is one of the most famous shows in anime history, along with DBZ and One Piece. It is considered to be a masterpiece. In the anime, the catchphrase of the main protagonist of the same name as the title (Naruto) is Dattebayo. In the English dubbed version of the anime, it is replaced with “Believe it!” This occurrence led fans to believe that the meaning of the term is “believe it.” However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Dattebayo in Japanese has no actual meaning.

It is a catchphrase, just like the term yo in English. While it can be considered meaningful when put in a sentence, it does not have an original meaning. Hence, it is safe to avoid the use of the term while using formal speech. Japanese people have confirmed that the phrase adds a bit of childish tone in naruto’s dialogue which suits his personality. Some fans believe it’s a term made up by Masashi Kishimoto  (the creator of naruto), and some believe it comes from his mother.

Breaking Down The Term Dattebayo

Image: Fiction Horizon

Although the there is no exact meaning of the entire term. It can be broken down into three components that have applications of their own.

1) Da

The first component of the term is da in dattebayo. It is the colloquial copula. Which means it links the subject to the component. Da is a casual version of desu. These can be considered helping verbs like ‘is’ and ‘are’ in the English language.

2) Tteba

The second component of the word is tteba in Dattebayo. It is a phrase used to confirm something a speaker has already implied or strongly asserts someone else’s belief. It might also refer to “Like I said” or “As I said” at the beginning of a sentence.

3) Yo

The last and third component of the sentence is yo in Dattebayo. It is a straightforward phrase used in both the English and Japanese languages. However, the meaning of the two isn’t quite the same. Yo is Japanese is used at the end of sentences to emphasize the sentence strongly.


After reading the article, I’m sure it’s self-evident that Dattebayo does not have an original meaning. However, if you use it correctly, it might make sense. However, it’s better not to use it while speaking to non-anime watchers in typical sentences since they might not get the reference.


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