Hello fellow inquisitors of Japanese. In my classroom today - in Balamb Gardens of course - my students and I were gleefully reading through Shiwon Miura's latest novel あの家に暮らす四人の女 when we - to our great befuddlement I must add - encountered the following sentence:


The problem you see is the てえな. We were unable to ascertain its meaning, despite burrowing through several dictionaries.

Any ideas on what it means?

2 Answers 2


The ~てえ is an informal, masculine version of ~たい, "want to~~".
たい is a 助動詞. The な is a 終助詞(sentence-ending particle).

You can parse the sentence this way:



食いたい --> 食いてえ (食いてぇ、食いてー)
結婚したい --> 結婚してえ (結婚してぇ、結婚してー)


知らない --> 知らねえ (知らねぇ、知らねー)
うるさい --> うるせえ (うるせぇ、うるせー)   


This is a kind of vowel transform.
"ai" sometimes changes to "e" or "ee".
Other vowel translation:
"ou" -> "u" or "oo"
"てえ" is often used by male, but you should not use this in public.

  • 1
    "ou" -> "u" or "oo" >> Can you give some examples please?
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 6:24

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