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I haven't heard "Uso Da!" used to mean "Liar!" in any other anime from what I can remember, and when I type the phrase into google, it seems to exclusively be a Higurashi thing. Why is this? If it were just a dramatic word that's not really used in real conversation, which is common for media, I'd expect to hear it more elsewhere in other anime too. I'd love to hear exactly why uso da seems exclusive to Higurashi, thank you ^^

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だ is really just there for emphasis, and would likely be there for emphasis in any other media or show.

From the article:

The most basic functions of だ are to mark nouns and な-adjectives as positive (true), and present tense (relevant to now or the future). だ is not used with word types that have their own way of telling us their tense or whether or not they’re true, such as verbs and い-adjectives.

So if you heard someone say "嘘{うそ}だ!", phonetically it's no different than if someone said, "You liar!"

As with natural speech, there is always nuance in how people speak certain phrases. This example is no different, and the real answer as to why this form is used over others is a bit beyond my completely non-native understanding to assist you with.

I do hope that this can give you some enlightenment as to why it is the way it is, though.

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  • This answer makes me feel like I'm starting to get it, although I still don't get it entirely, how come uso da seems to be uncommon in other anime to the point where it's basically associated with higurashi? that point I still dont get, unless I'm mistaken I suppose May 18, 2021 at 21:58
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    Anime speak is often slang and not exactly the same or consistent kind of Japanese you'd hear among native speakers. I would say that I've heard that phrase before in other anime - that I can't name off the top of my head, and given that it does have value in an exclamation of someone being a liar, I really can't see this being exclusive to one show.
    – Makoto
    May 18, 2021 at 21:59
  • @blakeharrisonakerz If I remember from Japanese class correctly, when だ is used alone at the end of the sentence, it might sound too harsh. That's why you often hear it followed by よ or ね, as in だよ or だね. I don't remember much from this anime but this might be an example of using だ to emphasize 'strong, negative emotions.' which often arises during the course of this anime. You can read more here: tofugu.com/japanese/da-vs-desu-in-real-life
    – W. Are
    May 18, 2021 at 22:38
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"Uso da!" is not only used in Higurashi but also appeared in other anime & manga.

Before the original Higurashi VN was released in 2002, the same phrase was used in

  • YuYu Hakusho manga (Weekly Shonen Jump, 1993), volume 13, chapter 112:

    幻海「嘘だ!!(source)
    Genkai: You're lying!! (scanlation)

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV anime, 1996), episode 24, 16:55~ :

    碇シンジ「嘘だ嘘だ嘘だ! カヲル君が、彼が使徒だったなんて、そんなの嘘だ!(source)
    Shinji: No, no, no! It's impossible! I won't believe that Kaoru is an Angel. It's a lie! (dub)


Literally, the meaning of "uso da!" is "(it's a) lie!", while "liar" is "usotsuki". Though, the implication of "uso da!" being "liar!" or "(you're) lying!" is also valid. Here is some comparison for various versions of Higurashi (Twitter, Reddit, YouTube):

  • Higurashi Hou (original VN, 2002, unofficial translation): LIES!/THAT'S A LIE!
  • Higurashi (anime, 2006): Liar!
  • Higurashi (manga, 2008): LIAR!
  • Higurashi Hou (Steam VN, 2015): LIES!
  • Higurashi Gou (anime, 2020): You're lying!

As for why it seems "exclusive", possibly it is because the impact of that particular scene in Higurashi is so memorable until it reaches a level of meme.


Reference: the comment thread about Uso da!!! on Nico Nico Pedia (Japanese)

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