I don’t know how to write or pronounce it but I was watching a Japanese movie and one person goes ‘nokuseni’ which I think roughly translates to ‘even though’? Or something negative? I know it’s vague but I watched the movie long ago and I don’t remember the whole sentence. And I remembered the word last night and I’ve been trying to figure out what it means.

2 Answers 2


The word is ‘kuse ni’ (くせに), in this usage almost exclusively written in hiragana.

Not to be confused with 癖 (kuse) (a habit; a particular personal trait).

The definition is ‘despite or ‘in spite (of)’, with ‘spite’ being the operative factor.

Expresses a sense of incredulousness at words or actions which seem incongruous or facetious. Oftentimes either showing or feigning anger or disapproval.

Often the expression after ‘kuse ni’ is dropped, as it is heavily inferred.

Situations where it would be appropriate to use ‘kuse ni’:

Due to nepotism, someone gets promoted to manager only a week after hire, despite not demonstrating sufficient qualification.

新任{しんにん}のくせに… ‘Despite being a new staff member!?’

Someone joins you for dinner, eats twice as much as you do, then insists on splitting the bill evenly.

俺{おれ}の二倍{にばい}食{く}ったくせに… ‘Even though you ate twice as much as me!??’

Other examples:

何{なん}にも知{し}らないくせに A fat lot you know about it! (literally: Even though you don’t know anything)

知っているくせに ‘Even though you know it (you’re going to act like you don’t?).

男のくせに泣く ‘Cry despite being a man’


The content should be "の癖{くせ}に。"

「癖に」 is used after the attributive form or の to express "although".

In your sentence, before the の is supposed to be a substantive.

  • 3
    「癖に」 is used after the conjunctive form ... to express "although" <-- Are you sure くせに follows the conjunctive form (連用形)?
    – chocolate
    Feb 12, 2018 at 5:39
  • So sorry to have made a mistake about it. :)
    – Surreal
    Feb 12, 2018 at 8:16

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