Japanese word that as an adjective, means stupid and much like aho and baka. Boke, as a noun, is like a gag, pun, silly action, and funny misunderstanding.

The boke is also an integral part of Japanese manzai comedy and somewhat a part of everyday Japanese communication (for some people, namely from Kansai). It is the act of saying something stupid or ludicrous, or doing a silly action. When someone does a boke, you should immediately reply with a tsukkomi.

There are a few types of boke in manzai comedy and Japanese communication:

  • joking boke - use of a set phrase like an oyaji gyagu, or Japanese Puns That Are Not Funny But At Least Are Puns
  • punning boke - misunderstanding and playing on words
  • repeating boke - continue with the same word or phrase structure (best told in a dialogue example)
    • tsukkomi: (notices the boke has two cups) Why do you have two cups?
      boke: This is a tea cup. This is a juice cup. (starts to move arms like a robot) This is a robocup (think robocop).
      tsukkomi: Samui!

  • lying boke - tell a lie or say something impossible (best told in a dialogue example)
    • boke: Great! I got a 100% on the pop quiz! (starts to frown and look dissapointed) But another 5% and I would have gotten a 105%.
      tsukkomi: How in the hell would you have done that?!

Boke, v. t. & i.

To poke; to thrust.

[Obs. or Dial.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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