In a manga I found the following sentence:


The person to which the word タコ refers to is a secondary character that rarely appears. His name was never mentioned before. Since the person that is talking is a quite rude old man and since the word is written in katakana, I am wondering if タコ is just the name of the secondary character or if it is an offensive word like バカ or アホ。 Thank you for your help!

EDIT: Since there were conflicting answers, I decided to provide more context. Here you can see the two pages where I found the term. They are from a manga about boxing called "リクドウ", where Riku is the name of the main character. In the first page the secondary character is worried about Riku starting the 2nd round, since he almost got ko in the 1st, at which point the old man, which is Riku's trainer, tells him "ひき戻すな、タコ". The second page is right after the end of the match. It looks like the unnamed secondary character is the trainer's helper.

  • Just because it is in katakana, doesn't mean it has to be offensive. That said, having context as to what manga (if possible), or some description of the character would be helpful. This may be similar to ゴリラ being used to refer to heavy-set, hairy men, if the character is in any way octopus-like. Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 21:20
  • 4
    The answer is so clear (at least to us native speakers) but it is just not the kind of word that a whole lot of J-learners would be familiar with. We alredy have multiple comments that are way off, so be careful. ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%93%E3%81%AE%E3%82%BF%E3%82%B3
    – user4032
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 15:03
  • 2ページ目で、「へっ スイッチ入ってりゃすぐ終わってたぜ タコ 」って、「リク」に言ってますよね?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 21:53
  • I can't understand if in the second page the old man is talking to Riku. If you look at the first scene, on the right-top of the page, Riku is walking out of the ring with the secondary character next to him.
    – Marco
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 21:57
  • そうですね・・どっちに言ってるか、わかんないですね・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 4:29

2 Answers 2


タコ is sometimes used as an offensive word like バカ、アホ, マヌケ.

This タコ would be an offensive word like that. Person's names including of タコ aren't many.

  • 3
    Finally, a good answer.
    – user4032
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 7:16
  • Thank you for your answer! I updated my question to give more context. How offensive can it be? Is it similar to idiot or worse?
    – Marco
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 21:50
  • 1
    タコ can be an offensive word like a word "idiot", バカ、アホ. However there are some times when they doesn't have much offensive meaning. It depends on the situation, the person's aim who said them, the person's feeling to whom was said them. Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 4:15

タコ is the most common form of writing octopus.

Octopuses/Octopi are often associated with grabbing things; calling someone a タコ could allude to this in the same way you might call someone a 豚, 狐, or 犬.

It could also be used like バカ or アホ but is not quite as common as them. In any case, people will be angry if you call them a タコ. It is not a common name.

Please read this answer written by someone more knowledgable than me.

  • 1
    If anything I wouldn't consider it offensive, but the speaker is possibly likening the other party as an octopus, because octopi have tentacles with suction cups and that can be likened to being grabby or touch-eager
    – psosuna
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 1:24
  • I agree that it's probably alluding to the person taking or holding on to the object being like an octopus. It's a bit like calling someone "sticky fingers".
    – ConMan
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 4:34
  • 2
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 14:49
  • When タコ is used like バカ or アホ, I thought it is the same タコ meaning octopus, especially since the character said ひき戻すな first. Is it an entirely different word or meaning from octopus when used like このタコ? Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 17:30
  • 1
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 22:41

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