Is 許せ【ゆるせ】 something that's said? I heard from a friend that it is used to mean forgive me, but I find the use of the imperative in such a way to be strange.

  • The only example of this in SpaceALC is: 汝以外のすべての者を許せよ。|Forgive all but thyself.〔ことわざ〕 – Tim Oct 17 '13 at 14:11
  • I've seen it in fiction when there's familiarity and the thing to be forgiven is minor. – Hyperworm Oct 17 '13 at 14:31
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    youtube.com/watch?v=EJJUErHmsHc at 0m54s 許せサスケ... また今度だ。 – jovanni Oct 18 '13 at 1:17

It is not strange at all. It appears to me that many Japanese-learners let the translated English words bother them too much. Then again, the same happens when we Japanese learn foreign languages as well.

許せ is very often used in informal speech among close friends as a sort of "tough-guy speech". It is heard most often from young male speakers. Using the politer forms can only sound out of place in certain situations, and I really do not think it is a Japan-only phenomenon.

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    Edited just to fix one single typo... 許せ! – user1016 Oct 18 '13 at 10:43

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