What Does “Dattebayo” Mean & Where Did it Come From?

“Dattebayo,” the catchphrase of Naruto is hard to put into English because there is nothing like it in English. Too much of its meaning comes from Japanese.

Naruto’s “dattebayo” (だってばよ) is translated as “Believe it” but in Japanese, the phrase doesn’t mean the same thing.

Later, the phrase was changed to “Ya know.” Before Naruto met Killer Bee, neither of these terms was even used in the manga; they were completely left out.

The problem is that there is no direct English word for “dattebayo,” so no one knew how to explain the catchphrase to people in the United States.

When you think about the rest of his family, the situation gets more complicated. The “dattebane” (だってばね) of his mother Kushina and the “dattebasa” (だってばさ) of his son Boruto are both translated as “ya know,” but that doesn’t seem quite right either.

To find the right translation for dattebayo, you’ll need to know more about the word and how it’s used.

Where did it come from and What does “dattebayo” Mean when we break it down?

Naruto scaled dattebayo 1 What Does "Dattebayo" Mean & Where Did it Come From?

At least in the first few episodes of Naruto, he says “dattebayo,” (だってばよ) which is a Japanese catchphrase.

On a canonical level, this question answered where it came from (his mother), but I was wondering where (if anywhere) the language came from.

I know there is no direct translation, but is it a kind of portmanteau or version of a Japanese name or phrase?

Dattebayo is not really proper Japanese, but you can see how it might have come to be used as a phrase to end a sentence.

It’s rude, kind of childish, and mostly just a bunch of different ways to emphasize a point in a way that doesn’t make much sense.

First of all, the “da” (だ) is a common way to end a sentence in Japanese. Depending on how the sentence is put together, some will end with da and others will end with a dictionary-form verb.

It should be made clear that this is not a polite way to talk. “Desu” (です) is the polite form of da.

Next, “tteba”(ってば) is a kind of set phrase or expression that adds emphasis. This is a shorter version of tteieba (っていえば), which makes it less polite.

It can be used with a noun, in which case it means something like “talking about” in many situations.

In other situations, it could mean “I’m talking to you” or “Listen to me” in a rather rude way. You could use it with someone’s name in this way to get their attention.

It’s pretty much the same as ttara (ったら), but ttara is more often used by women.

It is added to the da above by Naruto. Datteba is a word that you might hear sometimes in other situations. This usually sounds angry or frustrating to me, but it could be used either way.

The “yo” (よ) is the last part of a sentence. It can be added to the end of a sentence when the speaker wants to tell the audience something or make a claim.

It could mean “you see” or “you know” in some situations. It doesn’t have to be rude, but it could be used in rude speech.

When you add all of these things up, you get dattebayo. It doesn’t make sense and isn’t 100% correct, but it really emphasizes what he is saying.

In terms of how it would sound in English, you could compare it to saying something like, “I’m the best ninja ever” with a lot of superlatives. It’s not exactly the same, but the way it’s said is similar enough that Japanese speakers would think it was the same.

I’ll point out that, even though dattebayo was made up for this character, it’s kind of like dazo (だぞ). Dazo doesn’t sound like a child’s name like dattebayo does, and most men use it.

All things considered, though, it is still rude and puts a lot of weight on a statement.

There is also daze (だぜ), which is stronger, but dazo has a bit more of a positive tone.

Dattebayo reminds Naruto of his promise to always keep his word.

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“I tell ya!” is another way to look at Naruto’s signature phrase. Killer Bee came up with this translation when he was writing new verses for his Enka raps.

He said “ttebayo,” but he didn’t know what the missing word was. Bee didn’t understand what was going on until he heard Naruto say “dattebayo.” This translation is a bit sloppy, but it works.

The most important thing to know about Naruto’s dattebayo is that he is making a point. Naruto’s Nind, which means “Ninja Way,” is all about keeping his word.

So, when he says dattebayo, it’s kind of like a promise that he’ll stick to what he says. The catchphrase can’t be translated directly into English, so whoever is in charge of localization can use their imagination.

But they have to show how determined Naruto is for it to be called a proper translation.

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About the Author

Hiroshi Tanaka

Hey, I'm Hiroshi Tanaka from Tokyo! I've been hooked on Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto since I can remember. Growing up in the anime capital of the world, I've soaked in the essence of these series like a sponge. Now, I love sharing my passion and Japanese insights with fans worldwide. Let's dive into the anime magic together!

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