Is there any difference between 流石 and 予想した通りでした?

In the two replies to this, one implies it could be used sarcastically, while the other reply says it would be out of place if not meant to praise the object. I've seen many english speakers actively use さすが in a sarcastic manner to mock a great failure of somebody, but I believe it is improper usage.

I've never seen it used in japanese in that manner, and all the research I've done also say the same thing as the bottom reply in that thread.

Ex: someone known to do weird things does something socially unacceptable, and they want to mock him by saying "さすがname".

the point is they want to mock the person, not that their expectations were correct.

Is this correct or incorrect, and what could they say instead if they wanted to lightly mock the person? Assuming they are friends with a habit of saying deprecating things to each other.

2 Answers 2


I've seen many english speakers actively use さすが in a sarcastic manner to mock a great failure of somebody, but I believe it is improper usage.

Yes, it is improper.

Since the questioner seriously asked if さすが will be used in a sarcastic or mocking way that I haven't understand, I thought about it seriously by using situational examples.

Example 1:
Assuming the situation where Yamada who is a friend of ours made a failure written below, I'll try to verify whether the use of "さすが" is appropriate or not.

Though I said "Impossible!" Yamada told me that "I'll do it absolutely", so I said "Take your liking". "Yamada failed in his attempt exactly as I thought. I regarded this result as a matter of course."

Then I said:

A:(皮肉を込めて With sarcastic nuance)「流石に山田だ。」
B:(皮肉を込めて)「予想した通りでした。言わんこっちゃない。馬鹿丸出しだね。The result ended up with exactly what I thought. I cann't say anything. He's a fool, isn't he?

At this time, I will consider if the above expressions can be used as natural Japanese.

A is unnatural in this context and it is impossible to give an ironical, mocking or sarcastic sense to this phrase.
B is natural, but "予想した通りでした" merely states that the fact is as expected, and there is not much irony or mockery in the words.

Example 2:
I have a friend close to the example of naruto's answer. He has no sense of direction. When meeting at a karaoke bar in a downtown area, he usually comes late or calls up that he cannot get to the bar though he thinks he is in the vicinity of it.
Obviously we are sarcastically talking about his lack of a sense of direction while waiting at the karaoke bar for his arrival.
Even though, I do not know how to use "さすが" meaningfully with the sense of sarcastically mocking his behavior at such a time.
Conversely, I think that saying or using "さすが" with a sarcastic or mocking sense is not so natural in Japanese language.

  • a friend of us は a friend of oursの方が自然では?
    – user25382
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 14:14
  • @kimi Tanaka 逍遙 περίπατος: 訂正させていただきました。ありがとうございます。今後ともよろしくお願いいたします。
    – user20624
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 14:24

It works as an sarcasm, but only to a person who did another mistake after making similar ones many times. Saying 流石 in such a context implies something like "I know he is a person who does such a thing, and he never fell short of my expectation this time again!"

For example, imagine a person who is terribly bad at reading maps. When he called you saying he would be late again because he was lost, you might say "さすが!" sarcastically.

EDIT: That said, I'm not sure why you have "seen many english speakers actively use さすが in a sarcastic manner." Sarcastic さすが exists as I explained, but that's not something that occurs very often. I won't say whether or not it's proper without seeing the actual example, though.

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