Onii chan is the Japanese word for older brother, used frequently by women to address men who are their superior in age.
Onii chan may be used with or without actual blood ties between two parties.
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The term has been in used in the Japanese language for a long while, appearing in the English language in the 80’s and 90’s, when the popularity of anime and manga series rose in popularity.
Onii may have several endings in Japanese, depending on the user of the phrase.
The –san ending is the general honorific said to a big brother.
-Chan has a more emotional load, used when one is especially connected with her big brother.
-Sama is another possible formal finish for the expression.
The first Urban Dictionary entry can be traced back to 2007, with plenty others being added since that date.
Spread and Usage
Since 2008, clips from various anime series started circulating on the internet, where characters from the said series were saying onii chan.
These audio and video clips were then remixed with others to create some dank sensation.
4chan, Reddit and even Facebook got its fair share from the onii chan craze, with even a Facebook page being created with the name “Raep Me Onii-chan”.
- Know Your Meme – Onii-chan