I've seen in manga あちし, which means "I". However, in every dictionary I've looked at, it doesn't exist. So is this a fictional pronoun?


1 Answer 1


You will hear it used mostly in fiction predominantly by working-class male characters (period dramas come to mind first) and when used in fiction it is often fairly clearly pronounced 「あちし」.

In real life, 「あちし」 is not pronounced clearly as in fiction. It is more often what 「あたし」 can sometimes sound like rather than how it is actually pronounced intentionally. Another way it can be perceived is 「あっし」. You will hear these mostly around Tokyo and not really in western Japan.

I would say that the reason for the clearer pronunciation of 「あちし」 in fiction is its function as 「[役割語]{やくわりご}」("role language").

In real life as well, these variations of 「あたし」 is used by older male individuals around Tokyo. That 「あたし」 is used only by female speakers is just a rumour in the Japanese-as-a-foreign-language world. Do not trust it.

  • 3
    +1, but I feel あちし is also used among female characters in fiction (the first stereotype I had in mind was a female 暴走族 aka レディース). Other examples include モノミ and ベン (gay pirate)
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 2:22

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