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Japanese Slang: Meaning of 草 and How to Use

meaning of 草 in japaneseJapanese Language Learning

What does 草 mean in Japaese? It reads KUSA and stands for a derisive laugh or a sneer. Usually, it’s not used with positive meanings but includes negative nuance or is used like a joke for something funny.

The slang comes from the Japanese word 笑, meaning laugh or smile. I think the closest word in English is “lol” or “lmao”. The kanji symbol 笑 reads WARAI, and some people got to abbreviate and write “w” in the alphabet, taking the first letter from WARAI.

How is that related to the kanji symbol 草? It means grass in Japanese, right?


Yes, 草 stands for grass. Look carefully at the shape of “w”. Doesn’t it seem like growing grasses?


Come to think of it, you might be right.

Kusa is internet slang, and you’ll see this word used in Japanese forums or SNS like Twitter and Instagram. Here are some common phrases.

~は草, ~で草 (X is Kusa)

If someone says something is Kusa, it means something is funny or laughable.

草生える (Grasses will grow)

Kusa Haeru is an emphasized version of Kusa. HAERU means to grow something in Japanese and eventually expresses adding more “w” like “wwwww”.


We sometimes use a similar word 大草原, meaning prairie.

Kusa is used very casually on SNS. But if you’re a Japanese language learner, use it just against your familiar friends. It’s a rude word and isn’t proper for a formal situation. After all, Kusa is slang. It contains a nuance as if you’re mocking and looking down on your opponent. Elderly people even don’t know the meaning. I recommend using Kusa only against close friends!

I’ve posted another article about the KUSA Kanji symbol. If you want to learn the meanings and the origin of the Kanji letter, check the link below too!

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