お前 - why is it considered rude?


#1

Hello everyone,

I was wondering why お前 is considered impolite or rude. Literally, it means “honorable [person which is] before [me]”, right? Is the prefix “お” used here with a different meaning? Is there a historical reason? Please enlighten me!


#2

The short explanation is here: http://gogen-allguide.com/o/omae.html

In English: The word was originally used to show respect for nobles and deities. Such use continues today in words like 「みまえ(御前)」 and 「おんまえ(御前)」. Later, the word drifted away from being used as a term of respect for nobles and towards an indirect pronoun.
It still held a meaning of respect during the beginning of the Edo period, but similarly to 貴様, the respectful meaning slowly faded away, and ever since the Meiji period it has been used for equals and inferiors.


#3

i was taught to try and avoid using variations of ‘you’ where possible.
even あなた is difficult, because it can be like saying ‘honey’ to your partner


#4

hopefully the link works, enjoy!


#5

oh wait, this one is even better:


#6

Thank you!


#7

I haven’t checked the first two parts, started with this third since you said it was the best one. And wow that was fun to watch! I love how they completely changed the subject to how to address each other, what You to use. I bet they where there for a specific political topic, not how to say you :wink:


#8

That third video is awesome! Also, it teaches you something a formal course would never touch.


#9

Yeah, I thought that third one was suuuuuper interesting, very different kinda video to see!
On the flip side though… it kinda makes me feel like I will never be able to understand full speed Japanese :sweat_smile: they’re talking SO FAST!!!