A complete mess. Nonsense. Extremely.
Hiragana
むちゃくちゃ
Romaji
muchakucha
Kanji
Reading
Meaning
  • nothing, nil, zero
  • pain, suffering, anguish
な-adjective , noun , adverb

ちゃちゃ is the expression which is stronger version of another word, ちゃ. ちゃ means “nonsense”, “ignorant”, or “extremely / beyond limits” and is thought to have originated from an old Buddhist word ムサ. This ムサ has become 無茶 to make pronunciation easier, and the ちゃ is added to make the sound roll off the tongue more and add emphasis to the meaning. As for why this word uses these kanji, ちゃちゃ is what’s know as , e.g. these characters are used only for their sounds, not their meanings.

ちゃちゃ can be used in many ways. As a な-adjective, it can be used to describe things that are a complete mess. For example, we can use it to describe something that is actually messy, like in the sentence “あなたのちゃちゃですね!” or “Your room is messy and dirty.” And we can also use it to describe feelings or mental states. For example, the sentence “かのじょられて、ぼくはもうちゃちゃだ” or “I was dumped by my girlfriend, so I am so devastated” describes someone whose mind if in a state of confusion and feeling ‘all over the place.’

無茶苦茶 can also be used as a noun. In this case, we often translate it as “nonsense”. If we say “そんなちゃちゃわないでください”, that means “Please don’t such nonsense things.”

無茶苦茶 can even be used as an adverb, in a way that means “extremely”. ちゃちゃおおきい for example means “extremely big.”

Since the basic meaning of ちゃちゃ is “mess”, it ususally has a negative connotation associated wtih it. So be careful in how you use it in a sentence or expression!

Example Sentences
  • たいふうあとまちちゃちゃだった。

    After the typhoon, the town was a mess.

  • かれちゃちゃひとだ。すぐおこるし、やくそくまもらない。

    He is such a mess. He gets angry quickly and doesn’t keep his promises.