I noticed this tweet:

京都人は「死ねどす」なんて言わない 殺した後に「死んではるわ」って言う

with 70K+ retweets https://twitter.com/sc_gloom03/status/1147066611762728960 and don't quite get why it's so popular. I half-get that it's about Kyoto person saying "DIE!" at someone, but I don't understand the grammar enough to get the rest.
What's happening here and why is it so popular? Is there some peculiarity of the dialect I'm missing here?

2 Answers 2


First, it's two sentences, although periods are omitted.

Kyoto people don't say "Die!" (to someone). (Instead,) They say "Oh this person is dead" after killing them.

I think you can get the main part of this joke from the translation. Basically this is an ethnic joke that is making fun of the cold and sarcastic trait of Kyoto people. 死んではる is a Kyoto-ben version of 死んでいらっしゃる. (This tweet also shows the stereotyped image of Kyoto people. Well, who said sarcasm doesn't exist in Japan?)

In addition, 死ねどす by itself sounds funny. This どす (or どすえ, ですえ) is a stereotyped feminine (or "geisha-ish") Kyoto-ben variant of です. Naturally, it comes after a noun or an adjective, but not after an imperative form. A "correct" Kyoto-ben sentence for "Die!" would be something like 死んどくれやす. Therefore, this tweet initially looks like a serious Kyoto-ben lesson, but it turns out to be a dirty joke in the second sentence, which makes the tweet even funnier.

  • You just beat me to it :)
    – henreetee
    Jul 13, 2019 at 10:40
  • 1
    @henreetee 回答ほとんど一緒ですねw
    – naruto
    Jul 13, 2019 at 10:45

If I'm understanding it correctly, this is a comment on the stereotype/reputation of Kyoto-ites, as being fake or two-faced. It's saying something like:

A Kyoto-ite won't say "Die!" to (you); they will say "Oh, you're dead!" after killing (you).

Some of the comments mention 私の中のニセ京都人 (the fake Kyoto-ite within me) or similar.

Some comments also note that the dialect grammar might not be all that accurate, which makes the whole thing funnier/more of a caricature: 死んではるわ is supposed to actually be 死んだはるわ; and, likewise, 死ねどす is not really that grammatical as it would be the equivalent of 死ねです in standard Japanese, so is really a bit odd as well as being unnecessarily polite by using どす... obviously those "mistakes" haven't obscured the meaning of the joke, given it has been retweeted so much.

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