What does Mukatsuku ムカつく(むかつく)mean?




I hope someone didn’t tell you so.

Perhaps you heard such words in Japanese TV shows, dramas, movies, animations, comics, etc.?

Japanese young people started using Mukatsuku, but today many adults seem to use it.
It is so widely used that it may become common Japanese in the future.

Anyway, its meaning is ‘frustrating’, ‘irritating’ or something similar in English.
As you might know, ‘mukatsuku’ should be used in an informal situation.
It is not good to use at business scenes, or to people who are higher positions than you are.

What does “Mukatsuku” mean?

The meaning of this word is “frustrating”, “irritating”, etc.

It’s a slang and doesn’t have a very positive meaning, so it can only be used in casual situations. Of course, it’s rude to use it for someone who is in a superior position than you.

If you to say “mukatsuku” properly, that is “hara ga tatsu(はら が たつ:腹 が 立つ)”. Both are words and phrases that express feeling anger.

If strictly distinguishing those meanings,
“hara ga tatsu” is “getting angry”, “being furious” and the like, and “mukatsuku” is “frustrated”, “annoyed”, “irritated” and so on.

“Hara ga tatsu” is more commonly used by people in their 50s and above in Japan. It is a phrase that can be used by both men and women of all ages.

“Mukatsuku” is a word that young people have begun to use, so it is used mainly by young people and some adults. The reason why some adults are used is that “mukatsuku” has been used for some time, and young people at that time are now adults. “Mukatsuku” is also used in TV shows and dramas, which means that adults who listen to it use it.
However, the language sounds so casual that there are many adults who don’t use it.

What is the origin of “Mukatsuku”?

“Mukatsuku” is said to have already existed in the late Heian period. The meaning is “I feel nauseous in my chest or stomach.”

It is used in the same way today and is also expressed “I ga muka muka suru(い が むかむか する:胃 が ムカムカ する)” using onomatopoeia.

It is said, and then, the word has been started to use since the Edo period to mean “being angry”. And “mukamuka(ムカムカ)” emerged after a while “mukatsuku” with the meaning of feeling angry went around.

Today, young people use it to express their feelings of frustration.

Examples of using “Mukatsuku”

Otto no surukoto hitotsu hitotsu ni mukatsuku.
Everything my husband does is irritating.

Tomodachi ga kinou towa chigau koto wo itte ite mukatsuku.
What my friend says is different from yesterday which makes me irritated.

Aitsu no kao wo mirudake de mukatsuku.
Just looking at his face makes me sick.

Nani wo yattemo dame na jibun ni mukatsuku.
I feel angry with me failing everything.

All the above “mukatsuku” can be replaced with “haraga tatsu”.
However, “hara ga tatsu” is often used when the person really feels “angry” or when the person or object to be angered is obvious.

On the other hand, “mukatsuku” is often used when the person is a little frustrated, when the target person is not clear or does not exist, or in a light conversation between friends. Therefore, it can be said that the range of use of “mukatsuku” is vague and wide.
It is not clear whether this is the case, but there are stories that young people with very little vocabulary repeat “mukatsuku–” in any situation.

Another thing to say, because I mentioned young people in Japan.

They often add “cho” before “mukatsuku” to express even stronger emotions.
“Cho” means “very”, “super”, “ultimate” or something similar.

It is expressed as follows.
“Cho mukatsuku—- (超(ちょう)ムカつくー)”

Because this is a casual slang, the person may not be so angry even saying “chou”. Sometimes they say it laughing without meaning anything. Therefore, it needs to be determined according to the situation.