What Is The Meaning Of The Term Baka In Anime?

If you are an anime fan, I’m pretty sure that you have heard of the term “Baka.” Like many other terms that have become somewhat famous due to social media, Baka is no different. However, the meaning of the term isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many ancient stories regarding the term have nothing to do with its actual purpose or use. This fact might not be evident to new anime fans. However, You have nothing to worry about! Today we will discuss the origin, meaning, and famous usage of the term baka in detail!

Meaning Of The Term Baka

The meaning of baka is stupid or fool in English. It might be referred to foolish/crazy behavior or a dumb person. However, it’s not a severe insult. It is used light-heartedly among friends, for example, “anta baka?” which means “what are you stupid?” This word is typically famous in anime and manga. Therefore, fans worldwide but mainly from the west have adopted the use of the term jokingly. The concept started becoming famous among English-speaking anime and manga fans in the 1980s. The reason behind this was an inside joke. Moreover, In the 1990s, the word started spreading online, and people worldwide started using it.

Image: Reddit

But it doesn’t end there. Many fans think calling someone baka is cute or romantic. The reason behind this is tsundere characters. In many anime series, the leading female tsundere characters have called their love interest baka because of something dumb, which the other person might have said. Hence, the term is considered cute or kawaii. At this point, I think it is every anime lovers’ dream to have a tsundere girlfriend who would call them baka.

The word has become extremely famous, primarily because of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. It is frequently used in Instagram reels or TikTok making it famous even among non-anime fans.

Origin Of The Term

Like I had mentioned before, many myths surround the origin of the word baka. That makes it confusing since we are not exactly sure which is the actual origin of the word. Despite that, it is fascinating to learn more about these myths, so let’s get into it without any further delay.

The term baka is written with the letters of horse and deer. There is a story revolving around that as well. In the story, a courtier refers to a deer as a horse that makes him stupid. Therefore many people believe that the term is derived from this story. Another group of people thinks that the word is derived from the Sanskrit term moha. They suppose that it was used as slang between Buddhist monks among their monasteries.

Image: YouTube

Baka might also come from the word wakamono, which refers to young people who often do foolish activities. The older definition of the term is bankrupt. That could refer to someone dumb enough to let their family go bankrupt. During World War 2, Americans crafted missiles controlled by humans and labeled them as baka. However, that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word.


Regardless of the actual origin of the word, baka is still highly famous even though it is just an ordinary word picked from the Japanese dictionary. That is primarily because of the frequent use of the term in anime and manga. It became a famous slang even for people who dont watch anime and arent Japanese.