Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

From Wikipedia:

 –§–  貴様 — formerly an extremely honorific form of address; in modern speech is as insulting as, but more refined than, "temee"

貴様 is often said (by textbooks) to be the most insulting word used refer to someone, even more insulting than 手前.

Then, what does the article mean when it says that 貴様 is more refined than 手前?

Or is that information just plain wrong?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Refinement is a reflection of the speaker, not the listener. While an opposing baron would use 「貴様」, a thug would use 「手前」.

share|improve this answer

If nothing else, /teme:/ is Tokyo (shitamachi) dialect, while /kisama/ is standard Japanese. Refinement doesn't necessarily correlate with politeness; "ignorant oaf" might be considered more refined than "top bloke."

share|improve this answer

I've also seen 貴様 used between brothers. 手前 is a word one most likely wouldn't use toward a brother.

share|improve this answer
    
You mean "貴様" is used jokingly ? –  Pacerier Feb 25 '12 at 21:07
    
@Pacerier That's right. :) –  summea Feb 25 '12 at 22:20

Kisama is so often used in anime,it hardly seems vulgar!It seems like a crude way of saying 'you',the same way hokkiens and taiwanese use limpei to describe 'i'.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.