- “Shut Up” as Damare
- “Shut Up” as Damatte
- Examples from Anime in Manga
- “Shut Up” as Urusai
- Examples from Anime in Manga
- Damare vs. Urusai
- “Shut Up” as Yakamashii 喧しい
- Be quiet as shizuka ni
- Be Quiet in formal language as seishuku ni
- A cute way of saying “be quite” by saying O-Kuchi Ni Chakku
- Other word endings you can use to say “Shut up” or be quite
- Other words for be quiet and shut up
- In Conclusion
The most direct equivalent of the word “shut up” in Japanese is 黙れ damare. But this is just one of many options that you have to either ask someone to be quiet, or to explicitly ask them to stop talking.
The most well known phrase that is similar to shut up outside Japan is “urusai”, because you hear it so much in anime and it is often translated as “shut up” in the subtitles. This is not an incorrect translation, but urusai really means something closer to noisy, so when people say “urusai!” as a statement, they are only telling others to “shut up” by implication. So it’s not quite the same as our phrase, which is very directly telling someone to stop talking or making noise.
“Shut Up” as Damare
Probably the closest equivalent of the English Phrase “Shut Up” is 黙れ damare.
Damare is derived from the word to “become quiet” 黙る damaru.
Changing the ending of damaru from ru to re makes it a command, or an imperative form.
So are you literally telling someone to “be quiet”. And you are doing it in no uncertain terms! Which is pretty close to the nuance you get from “Shut Up”
damare! anata ni wa kankei nai koto da!
Shut Up! This has nothing to do with you!
2. 黙れ！ どうでもいいことを言うな！
damare! dō demo ii koto o iu na!
Shut up! Stop spouting trash.
Minna sukoshi damare !
Would you all just shut up for a bit!
3. 黙れ！ 黙って木を持って来い
damare! damatte ki o motte koi
Shut up! Shut your gob and go and fetch the wood.
“Shut Up” as Damatte
Another slightly less demanding way of ordering someone to do something in Japanese is to change the end of the verbe to tte.
So in the case of damaru you get damatte.
Examples from Anime in Manga
You can see this in this excerpt from the anime “Serial Experiments Lain:
Serial Experiments Lain (玲音)
You’re so annoying…can’t you just shut your big gob?
“Shut Up” as Urusai
Urusai can mean “shut up” in some contexts.
Ima sugu dete ikanai to
If you don’t leave right now…
Examples from Anime in Manga
Here are some examples from Japanese manga and anime of urusai being used to mean something like “shut up”.
Welcome to the Ballroom (ボールルームへようこそ) – Tatara Fujita (富士田多々良 )
Shiruka, boku wa ne atama ga waruin da yo
Don’t you know, I’m really a bit of a dummy!
Gocha gocha urusai no da
Quit your grumbling!
AKIRA (アキラ )
Urusai! Ore ni meirei suruna
Shut it! Don’t try and give me orders.
Demon Slayer (鬼滅の刃)
Urusai yo. Kono kurai shi ni wa shinai daro, oni nan dakara
Clam it! It’s not like something like this would kill you, you know you’re a demon right?
Although, Urusai can be used to convey something like “shut up” in Japanese, it is also used in a bunch of other contexts.
It most literally means “you’re noisy” or “you’re annoying”. So in this way, it is not a directly imperative statement like “shut up”, where you are directly telling someone to do something.
In fact, to list the different meanings of Urusai you get:
1. Noisy, loud
2. Annoying, irritating, overbearing, persistent, nagging
3 Fussy, picky, bossy, particular
4 shut up, be quiet, shut it.
So, in this way, saying urusai to try and get someone to “shut up” is probably closer to statements like:
“you’re such a big mouth”
“What a windbag”
than it directly is to “shut up”.
I’ve also done an in-depth look at the full urusai meaning.
Damare vs. Urusai
Damare is a more direct way of saying “shut up” than urusai. Damare literally means “be quiet” and is a command. Urusai is literally saying “you’re noisy”, so is not directly telling someone to shut up – but rather strongly implying that they “shut up”.
“Shut Up” as Yakamashii 喧しい
Yakamashii is similar in meaning and usage to urusai and has meanings of:
- Noisy, loud, boisterous
- Fussy, picky, nitpicking
More polite ways of telling someone to be quiet
Using words like damare and urusai as a way of asking someone to “be quiet” is pretty extreme, and should be reserved for pretty extreme situations. If you just wanted to ask someone to tone it down a little bit you should use something like:
Be quiet as shizuka ni
The word shizuka in Japanese means quiet. So you can put shizuka in different sentences to more politely say something like “please be quiet”.
Below is a list of shizuka being used with different sentence endings, listed from most to least polite:
O-shizuka ni onegai shimasu.
We ask you to be quiet.
Shizuka ni shite kudasai
Please be quiet.
Shizuka ni shite.
Shizuka ni shinasai!
Be quiet now!
Shizuka ni shiro!
Any of these are still pretty direct though. So you might want to soften things up more by saying something like.
Mo chotto shizuka ni shite itadakemasenka
Would you mind keeping it down for me a little?
Using honorific keigo words like “itadakemasenka” is one way of making what you want to say in Japanese sound less confronting.
Using words like chotto or sukoshi meaning “a bit” or “a little” can also help you deliver a message that is more like “do you mind being a bit quieter” or “Would you mind being just a little quieter”.
Be Quiet in formal language as seishuku ni
In formal situations you might hear the word:
Mamonaku koen ga hajimarimasu node, seishuku ni onegai shimasu.)
As the concert is about to begin please refrain from making noise.
A cute way of saying “be quite” by saying O-Kuchi Ni Chakku
One way to use a cute expression, such as when parents talk with children, to say “be quiet” is to say:
O-Kuchi Ni Chakku
It’s time to zip our lips!
Chaku literally means “zip”, so you can see that this one translates readily into English.
Other word endings you can use to say “Shut up” or be quite
Another way you can forcefully command someone to do something is to put shiro after the word that you want them to do.
So you could say:
Another quite crass way to say something like “shut up” in Japanese is to put the word yarou after other words to describe a person. “Yarou” is generally used like words such as “bastard” or “prick” etc. in Japanese.
So in Japanese you could call someone an
Noisy (annoying) bastard
This could be a way of, pretty rudely, telling them to “shut up”
Them same can be done with;
Noisy (annoying” bastard
Other words for be quiet and shut up
Kuchi wo tsugume
Hold your tongue!
This one literally means “shut your mouth”, but it’s nuance in Japanese is closer to suggesting someone “hold their tongue”.
Interestingly, the phrase “shut up” is so well known in Japan that some people even use it in Japanese. To make it easier to say, they have changed the word from something closer to how we pronounce “shut up” in English, to the word sharappu.
I’ve written articles about words like yamero and yamete kudasai before, and these are generally translated as stop, or stop it. But you also hear them used by people to try and get other people to stop talking, which is really what we are usually doing when we use the phrase “shut up”.
So there you go, another option – if an extremely rude one at any rate.
At the end of the day, there really isn’t any easy, comfortable way to tell someone to “be quiet”, “stop talking” or shut up. Because of the nature of how socially hard it is to do this, you have a range of words that you can use in either English or Japanese.
These options for “shut up” range from the extremely rude and confrontational to the relatively benign.
Hopefully this article has helped you navigate between these poles of how you may want to, um, ask people to refrain from comment. Or you know, just “shut up”.