I've been told that いや (in its use similar to いいえ) is a mainly masculine word, but I've heard many female speakers use it, both as a filler and a content word expressing disagreement. Is it that young female speakers use it these days?


When いや is used in the sense of being a casual way to say 'no', yes, it is mostly only used by men. And as Hideki says, 嫌だ meaning disgust or dislike is the other meaning. The reason I'm submitting a separate answer that says the same as his is because of potential difference in dialect.

I've been living in Tokyo for several years and I hear women (usually mid thirties and under) say 嫌だ all the time, and I have never heard a man say it. This is, of course, just my experience, but perhaps if the other answerer is living in Kansai or something, it's a difference in trend or dialect.


There are two kinds of いや.

One is the one you mentioned. It basically means 'no'.

The other is a short form of 嫌{いや}だ. This word expresses a feeling of disgust / dislike. Actually young female speakers use the short form a lot. Male speakers say いやだ and seldom use the short form.

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