I’m reading a story, and in it 2 students are talking about a teacher. One says, ね、榎本先生ってさ。。。 男子にエロ本って呼ばれてるらしいよ。This is followed by a scene where the boys were caught with a prön mag, and the teacher telling them they have to be more careful about it. She later confronts him about it saying, 先生はエロ本って呼ばれてるじゃん。

I have no clue how to interpret this usage of 呼ばれてる as I’m certain it can’t mean “call” as that wouldn’t make sense.

  • 1
    Are you confused by the passive form (呼ばれる) or the contraction of ~れている→れてる ?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


I think this in fact something that the boys have been calling this teacher (presumably behind his back), as a kind of pun on his name, 榎本{えのもと}. (They are deliberately mispronouncing the first character as エロ instead of えの.)

Edited to add: The above answer was premised on the assumption that you understood the grammar but thought 呼ぶ must have some meaning other than "call" because you couldn't understand why the boys would be calling the teacher such an odd thing. Since Chocolate has suggested in a comment that it might be the use of the passive voice that's throwing you off, I'll just add that 呼ばれてる doesn't mean "call," but "is being called."

  • Thank you both! It makes so much sense now! Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 0:19

榎本先生ってさ。。。 男子にエロ本って呼ばれてるらしいよ。

(Though I'm not sure where your confusion comes from...) Let me break it down to smaller parts:

榎本先生って -- "As for Mr. Enomoto... / Mr. Enomoto is..." (≂「榎本先生は」)
(The って is the colloquial version of the topic particle は)
さ -- filler
男子に -- "by boys / by male students"
エロ本って -- "as エロ本" (≂「エロ本と」)
(The って is the colloquial version of particle と)
呼ばれてる -- contracted pronunciation of 呼ばれてる.
(呼ばれている is the progressive form of 呼ばれる. 呼ばれる is the passive form of 呼ぶ.)
らしい -- "It seems like... / I hear that..."
よ -- sentence ending particle  

The basic structure of this sentence is:

I hear that X is called Z by Y.
I hear that Mr. Enomoto is called エロ本 by boys.

  • 3
    @Nanigashi, Changed "Mr Enomoto" to "Ms. Enomoto," because the OP's question makes it clear this teacher is a woman. <-- あらま、榎本先生は女性でしたか… 英語力不足で、わかりませんでした😭 " She later confronts him about it saying, 先生はエロ本って呼ばれてるじゃん。" の She は、「ね、榎本先生ってさ。。。 男子にエロ本って呼ばれてるらしいよ。」と言った女子生徒(=one (of the 2 students) を指し、him は榎本先生を指すと思ったんですが… " She later confronts him about it..." のところ、him って誰なんでしょうか?
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 4:43
  • 2
    P.S. 『TS少女ハルキくん』っていうマンガなら、「エロ[本]{もと}」って呼ばれてる「[榎本]{えのもと}先生」(←男の先生)が出てくるらしいんですが。。。
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 14:17
  • Grammatically, "she" should refer to "the teacher," because that's the singular noun that precedes it most closely; according to English grammar, we can't skip over "the teacher" and go all the way back to "one" (meaning one of the students) to find the antecedent for "she" in the OP's first sentence. However, the "him" in the same sentence as "she" has no grammatical antecedent at all, so I think we can conclude that the OP has limited grasp of English pronouns and has used "she" in a misleading way here – particularly since it's clear you've identified the manga this comes from!
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 18:10
  • P.S. 英語で答えてしまってすみませんが、以上の事を日本語で上手く説明できません。
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 18:27
  • @Nanigashi, いえいえ、わかりました。詳しい説明、ありがとうございます。<m(__)m>
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 13:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .