ヤンキー (yankee) originates from the English term “Yankee”, but has a completely different meaning.
ヤンキー (yankee) indicates loutish youths between the ages of 13 and 18. In other words, they are sort of the Japanese equivalent of “chav” or “yob” in the UK. Basically, they inhabit a rural area of Japan such as Ibaraki or Okinawa Prefecture, and seldom appear in Tokyo. They are typified by their loutish behaviour and unique appearance: they often dye their hair blonde and wear either modified school uniforms or long jackets embroidered with kanji characters that signify their group names and mottos. They often attempt to provoke or intimidate others for no reason, and some of them extort money especially from younger students in the same school (Kohai). Extortion done by ヤンキー or a gangster is called “カツアゲ (Katsuage)” in Japanese.
Synonyms: 不良 and DQN
Both 不良 (furyou) and DQN (doqun) are synonyms of ヤンキー. 不良 literally means “not good” and usually indicates juvenile delinquents. 不良 and ヤンキー are mostly interchangeable, but 不良 sounds more modern while ヤンキー sounds a bit old-fashioned and is associated with anti-social students who ride their noisy motorbikes with illegal exhausts in the countryside.
DQN, on the other hand, originates as Internet slang and contains much more causal and playful tones.
Related Word ヤンキー座り: Asian Squat
ヤンキー座り literally means “Yankee sitting” and actually indicates so-called “Asian squat”. This is because stereotypically ヤンキー do the squat in front of a convenience store, smoking cigarettes and glaring at passersby. Some people make fun of their sitting style as “うんこ座り” meaning “sh*t sitting” because it resembles how you take a sh*t at a 和式 (washiki) toilet, a traditional Japanese-style toilet.
Different from the English term, the last vowel “ee” in “Yankee” is accented. Note that in Romaji it is technically written as “Yankī” or “Yankii”.
I was accosted by female ヤンキー (louts) at the park and it was so scary.
I feel really ashamed of my son being a ヤンキー (loutish boy).
Being influenced by Yutaka Ozaki, a great number of 不良 stole motorbikes and broke windows at school.
尾崎豊 is a very famous Japanese singer who released many songs that embody rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. A great number of 不良 empathized with his songs and followed what is mentioned in his songs: stealing bikes and breaking windows at school. Unfortunately, he died of drug overdose at the age 26 in 1992.
Synonyms: 不良, DOQ (loutish students, juvenile delinquents)
Synonyms in English: loutish students, chav, yob, lout, while trash
Related words and phrases: うんこ (poop, sh*t), 座る (sit), 和式 (Japanese-style)