A weeb or weeaboo is a slang term typically used to denote a non-Japanese person obsessed with Japanese culture. For example, non-Japanese anime fans in America are often referred to as weebs.
As globalization brings the world closer together, distant cultures and civilizations are no longer as far apart as they once were.
Once, the world’s nations were wholly divided by the oceans, the deserts, and the skies. But today, any one person living in small-town nowhere can be in touch with any other person in any country from around the world.
In other words, it’s no longer rare to find Chinese, European, or Australian products on the shelves of stores in America or anywhere else. And similarly, it’s becoming increasingly common to find Japanese culture spread worldwide.
For example, the anime boom we’ve seen in North America in recent decades can be thought of as the beginning of a total Japan-Asian invasion.
But another increasingly common sight in America and abroad is the appearance of the weeb!
Wait, the weeb? What exactly is a weeb? Do I need to go out and buy weeb repellent? Should I be scared?
Below, we hope to answer all these questions and more as we dive into the definition and meaning of the term weeb.
What Does Weeb Or Weeaboo Mean?
In the simplest terms, weeb is a nonsense word that gained popularity primarily due to the internet. The term is most often used to describe a non-Japanese person who admires the Japanese language, anime, or the culture itself, similar to the word otaku.
“Weeb” is the shortened version of the word “weeaboo,” which is sometimes thought to be a derogatory slang term.
The term is widely used in manga or anime communities and often stereotypes fans who tend to be slightly more obnoxious about their love of Japanese culture than others.
However, weebs aren’t limited to anime or manga fans.
They can also be non-Japanese people obsessed with Japanese comics, video games, TV shows, or cartoons.
Additionally, weebs are also found to use Japanese words in their everyday vernacular, despite not knowing how to use them properly.
Is Weeb A Racist Term?
While the term can be used negatively, there’s no accurate indication that weeb is a racist term or that it’s derogatory.
Instead, weeb is similar to the term “Wapanese,” which denotes a “wannabe Japanese” or a “white Japanese” person.
Therefore, in itself, the term isn’t racist against Japanese people.
But it can be thought of as “racist” or offensive to non-Japanese people obsessed with Japanese culture.
On the other hand, you’ll often find people who are very proud to be weebs.
And if you ask me, there’s nothing wrong or racist about that!
Where Did The Weeb Come From?
The internet is wild, especially on sites like 4chan or Urban Dictionary, where strange terms and ideas often spread like wildfire.
And this is precisely where the term “weeb” came from.
According to our research, the term weeb first gained popularity with 4chan users, who primarily used it to insult obsessive Japanese fans.
Some of the earliest records of the term date back to the early 2000s, when sites like 4chan and Urban Dictionary were first getting started.
However, the term “weeb” hasn’t gained popularity until the past decade.
Why Would Anyone Want To Be A Weeb?
While most people would agree that they don’t want to be called a “weeb,” the fact is that Japanese culture is prevalent almost everywhere in the world.
And suppose anyone of any race, ethnicity, or background wants to be a wannabe Japanese. In that case, it doesn’t have to be wrong, especially if the person is genuinely excited and in love with everything in Japan.
In other words, the term weeaboo doesn’t have to have a negative connotation.
From California to New York and England to France, everywhere you go, you’re bound to run into some form of Japanese culture or people who are enamored with anything Japanese.
Anime fans can be said to be one of the biggest demographics of weebs out there.
And if you know anything about anime fans, you already know how they are genuinely excited about Japanese cartoons and comics.
Is The Weeb Here To Stay?
According to research, the global anime market will grow at a CAGR of 8.8% to a whopping $43.73 billion by 2027.
This includes everything related to Japanese anime, from TV shows and cartoons to video games, movies, and physical merchandise.
That’s nearly double the market in 2020, which was only valued at just under $24.5 billion.
In other words, it’s safe to say that Japanese anime and the countless weebs that come with it aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
And people who love Japanese cartoons, any other Japanese products, or cultural phenomena will only continue to love what they love.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Frequently Asked Questions – The Meaning Of Weeb
Now that you’re well-acquainted with the weeb let’s review some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about weebs or weeaboos.
Although the term could be used negatively, weebs are not a distinct race of people. In other words, weeb or weeaboo is genuinely not a racist term. However, that does not mean people can’t use the term offensively. If you’re going to call someone a weeb, you better mean it because of their incredible taste in Japanese culture and not as a bad thing. But don’t be like that.
Yes! Anybody can become a weeb if they so choose. And the best part is that you’ll need to become obsessed with Japanese culture and immerse yourself in everything Japanese.
No. We assure you that weebs are typically very friendly, and you should not try to scare them or disturb them while they’re in their natural environment. If anything, we suggest you start a conversation next time you encounter a wild weeb and ask them what they think of Japanese culture.