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“Sugoi dekai” in a Nutshell

“Sugoi dekai” in a Nutshell

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Let’s investigate the expression sugoi dekai in this article, finding out what it means and where it comes from.

For those who just want a straight answer, however…


What does “sugoi dekai” mean?

Sugoi dekai means “amazingly huge,” and could also mean something is “amazingly good,” although this second meaning seems to be less common.

To get a better feel for this phrase, let’s break it down and understand it piece by piece!


What does sugoi mean?

Sugoi is an adjective that can be written as either すごい, スゴイ, or 凄い. It has a lot of different meanings, depending on the context. It can mean that something is terrible, impressive, wonderful, vast, or immense.

Let’s take a quick look at that kanji that forms the foundation for the word as well. By itself, the character mean that something is strange, weird, and uncanny, or, alternatively, it can mean that something is awful, horrible, and threatening.

凄 is made up of two radicals, or component parts that can give us a bit of the “flavor” of the character. On the left hand side is 冫, aka the “ice radical.

The right hand radical is 妻, which is also the kanji for “wife.” If you can picture someone’s wife being ice cold, you can perhaps imagine the immense terror she could unleash!


What does dekai mean?

Dekai is a bit simpler. This one is an adjective that just means “massive, gargantuan, jumbo.” You get the idea. It’s written either as でかい or デカイ. It could also be written as でっかい or デッカイ (dekkai) in order to stress that middle consonant and therefore emphasize the word.

This word originated during the Edo period in the Hida dialect, a form of Japanese spoken in northern Gifu. There are at least two theories on how this word came to be.

The first theory suggests that it combines do (ど), which is a prefix that emphasizes the word in front of it, and the adjective ikai (厳い) which means “many, huge, numerous, extreme.”

That would basically give you doikai, with the “oi” sound evolving into the “e” sound over time.

The second theory says that it’s a combination of the old slang term deko (でこ), which means “enormously, hugely,” and the previously mentioned ikai, giving us dekoikai which became dekkai through the total elimination of the “oi” sound and then, finally, dekai.


Where did the phrase “sugoi dekai” come from?

Sugoi dekai didn’t really come from anywhere. It’s a pretty normal expression in Japanese. That said, it gained “meme status” dude to a manga and anime called Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!” (宇崎ちゃんは遊びたい!; Uzaki-chan wa asobitai!).

The manga premiered in 2017 and the anime ran in the summer of 2020.

It a somewhat charming, if rather bog-standard slice-of-life comedy anime telling the story of college students hanging out.

In it, the main character Uzaki wears a t-shirt with the expression “SUGOI DEKAI” emblazoned across it in romaji, aka roman characters. What makes this particularly striking is that she is an, ahem, very well endowed character.

So, this “sugoi dekai” t-shirt could mean “super great” in one context, but, due to the anatomy of the character wearing it, it suggests that it is commenting on her figure, lending itself to a bit of humor.


Is it okay to say “sugoi dekai”?

Sure, no problem. It’s just useful to be aware that in certain circles the expression carries a bit of a risque meaning.

However, in normal, everyday Japanese conversations it’s a totally innocuous expression that you should feel comfortable employing if the occasion calls for it.


How to use sugoi dekai in a sentence


sugoi-dekkai usagi-no-oshiri o mofutte-mita kekka

What happens when you pet the butt of a really big bunny.


iguasu-no-taki wa sugoi! Mata dekai! Sugoi-dekkai!!

Iguazu Falls is amazing! And huge! Amazingly huge!!


Furiimonto-ekusuperiensu niwa sugoi-dekkai sukuriin ga arimas yo!

There’s an absolutely ginormous screen at the Freemont Street Experience.


Nanka, sugoi-dekkai noga kita!

Something humongous arrived!


Ore-no-mimi-no-naka niwa sugoi-dekai mimi-kuso ga aru.

I’ve got a big piece of earwax in my ear.


Kono sugoi-dekai purin umai!

This ginormous pudding is delicious!


Sono sugoi-dekai akurirufigyua wa ikura deska?

How much is that awesome acrylic figure?


Sugoi-dekkai jibun-no-e o kabe ni hatteta.

I hung an incredibly big picture of myself on the wall.