If you’ve watched a lot of shounen anime, you will probably have heard this before (you may just not have realized it). Yagaru (やがる) is a slightly vulgar verb suffix that can indicate hatred or contempt for someone else’s actions.
Here, we’ll be looking at the grammar yagare (やがれ), which is the imperative form that is attached to the end of the -masu stem of a verb. When attached to a verb, the verb becomes quite a rude way of ordering someone to do something.
Taberu (to eat) > tabe (verb stem) + yagare = tabeyagare
食べる ＞ 食べ ＋ やがれ ＝ 食べやがれ
“Eat this now, damn it!”
There is a lot of ways you could translate this, and depending on the anime and the audience. It wouldn’t be strange if it was translated with a curse word (remember the concept of swearing is very different in Japan).
Due to the rudeness and strength of this grammar – it’s very unlikely you’ll hear it normal conversation or even see it in many grammar books. In anime though, it is used much more frequently – and sometimes to comic/hyperbole effect.
The Grammar Yagare in Anime
The anime that I really started taking notice of this grammar was Gintama (that I personally believe to the greatest anime ever made!).
Here is an example taken directly from Gintoki!
Did you catch it? The sentence itself is very difficult and would is probably nearly impossible to understand if you don’t know about Gintama, so don’t worry if not.
“Let’s see if you can take down the Joi patriot known as the White Devil”
This is the translation from the anime, as you can see it’s been made PG (and pretty much completely ignored).
A more accurate translation could be:
“Take the head of the Joi patriot known as the White Devil? If you think you can, come and (obscene word) try it!”
This example is pretty difficult, so here are a few simple ones to help you understand.
Shut the (obscene word) up!
Get the (obscene word) inside now!
Hopefully, this will help you understand the grammar yagare. Make sure to keep an eye (ear?) out for it the next time you watch Gintama!