Is it true that 寂しい can be used to describe someone as "pathetic" ? (pathetic in the sense like someone is cheating in a game: pathetic. and like someone is robbing a grandma: pathetic. and like someone who doesn't wish to work and just wanted to live off others: pathetic)

The dictionaries I use only list them as "lonely, lonesome, solitary, desolate" so I'm wondering if the "pathetic" meaning of 寂しい is widely used (or used at all)


I hear 寂しい used as a derogatory word, usually in the form 寂しいやつ. The literal meaning of 寂しいやつ would be “lonely person,” but it means more like “a person without friends.” So calling someone as 寂しいやつ is equivalent to claiming that the person has no friends, and it could be an insult.

I consider 寂しいやつ simply as yet another phrase used to insult someone, mostly independent of whether the speaker really thinks that the referent deserves no friends or not. I do not know if it is similar to “pathetic” in usage.

| improve this answer | |
  • Agreed. even in the examples given (cheater, robber, lazy person), referring to them as 寂しい would still indicate lonely, no friends, not 'pathetic' or 'loser'. – Samurai Soul Aug 8 '11 at 17:57
  • @Tsuyoshi does it mean that in the usage youtube.com/watch?v=IsU2tRnshfU&feature=related (at 0:40) it will be clear to the listener that the speaker is not saying that he "have no friends"? – Pacerier Aug 10 '11 at 18:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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