The Jisho entry for なんか (?)

Why is there a note that says this word is “often derogatory”? Is it? This is one of the most liberally used colloquialisms of Japanese I’ve heard, I thought of it as akin to the “like” filler in English. Recently a Japanese told me it’s sort of like “kinda”. I have used it with old and young Japanese several times and have never gotten called on it. Can an expert give some explanation for this Jisho note?

I don’t know too much about it, but I came across an explanation about this somewhere in a footnote once (sadly can’t find it anymore), I’ll try to explain, if I remember correctly you have the colloqiual shortening of なにか that you would use amongst friends and the like, to mean something / anything.

(なに)してみましょう。(Let’s try something)

And then there’s なんか as the adverbial particle to give it a negative emphasis in regards to the speaker, something like that.

助言(じょげん) なんか ()らない。[Your (damn) advice isn’t needed / Don’t need any advice)

Hopefully someone else can explain it better, I’m not too familiar with the matter myself, can’t guarantee that it’s correct as it relies on a faint recollection I have about an explanation somewhere in the margins of a manga or something. I got the second example sentence fromなんか, they give some explanations and use-cases, maybe that’s some help?


Yeah, the one you’re thinking of is a few entries down, under なにか.


Alright I see now, it’s in the alternative forms part right here. Makes much more sense now. I was bewildered by the first entry for なんか being marked derogatory, I didn’t notice the innocuous one was just in 何か. Now I know. Thank you for the helpful replies, Leebo and matskye.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.