I'm watching the above video, and they are explaining だらけ, as being synonymous with ばかり. However, as is always the case when I come across words that have the same meaning, I am given no way to differentiate them.

May I know which is more polite, which is more common, if there is any nuance in usage or grammatical rules? Anything that can help me unconsciously decide which to use when, it would be most welcome.


2 Answers 2


「だらけ」 has the connotation of being "all over the place" or being "riddled with" . The speaker that chooses this word wants to imply that he's not happy that there's so much of .


This has the idea of "There's nothin' but friggin' dudes up in this place!" i.e. "sausagefest"

「ばかり」 can be simply thought of as "only" in kind of a neutral way where no real preference for more or less being stated by the speaker.


This has more of a "Oh well, I guess there's nothing but men here." sort of a sound to it.

On a side-note you can emphasize that there's ONLY men by saying the following.


Now since we're putting some oomph into 「ばかり」 with the addition of 「っ」it sounds somewhat negative, but it's more like the speaker is expressing his wish that there were more than just men (also ladies!) rather than 「だらけ」 which expresses a strong negative evaluation of the fact that there are too many men.

To sum up, 「だらけ」= too many 「ばかり」= only 「ばっかり」= only (and I wish there were something else)

  • 2
    I don't think that だらけ necessarily has a bad connotation.
    – ssb
    Aug 18, 2014 at 7:48
  • Can you think of an example where it doesn't?
    – sazarando
    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:00
  • 1
    I agree that it's probably most often negative, but even if you look on the video provided in the OP the guy uses 今日は良いことだらけだ
    – ssb
    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:15
  • 1
    I see what you mean. In 「良いことだらけだ」he's not expressing his dislike of the fact that there's so much good stuff happening today. But I think it still carries the idea of "too much", like maybe (in an exited tone) "There's just too much good stuff going on today!" What do you think?
    – sazarando
    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:30
  • You guys are brilliant, I was just about to ask about that part of the video and you already picked it out. I think Maikeru is probably on the right track, though I say that purely on my own logic and have no way to prove it.
    – Nathan
    Aug 19, 2014 at 4:12

I am not sure about the actual rules, but normally you use だらけ when saying about something in the negative context, such as ゴミだらけ. On the other hand ばかり is more neutral, such as お菓子ばかり。 Also, there's third word, ずくめ which is used mostly in the positive context.


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