I've been watching the Japanese version of Naruto a lot, recently, and the word "dattebayo" really stuck with me... Not necessarily a good thing, but I'm doing it pretty much unconsciously now.

I've been told to "grow up" by my friends, and I'm quite sure that pretty much all people except Naruto aficionados are going to think that I'm an unstable guy that's not yet mature (btw I'm 17)...

Previously, I had a tic of repeating every word I said in my mouth after saying it aloud, as if to check if it's correctly been spoken or not...

My question here is that does a verbal tic affect the listener's understanding in any way, and does it have any impact on their perception of whether one is saying the right thing or joking about? Does it make them feel disrespected?

Side notes:

  1. I only find myself using these verbal tics when I'm talking to friends, it automatically stops when I'm talking to parents, teachers, older people etc.

  2. I'm not actually mentally unstable. At least I'm unaware of it, if not anything else :)

  • 2
    Just to confirm, do you occasionally just add 'dattebayo' to a sentence without reason, or does it usually have context? If the english dub of Naruto was correct (which is a big if), 'dattebayo' meant 'believe it'.
    – user8671
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 14:16
  • @Kozaky it was often changed to 'ya knowin english'... So I I use it as 'ya know'. Not randomly, as it has no exact meaning in Japanese...
    – Abhigyan
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


A verbal tic might have impact on someone else understanding your speech based on a WebMD article on tics. I cited WebMD not because you have a disorder, but becuase it it the closest hard evidence I could find related to tics. In addition, even if theoretically you had a tic disorder, it might just be transient. But you can control it, so there is 0% chance that you have a disorder.

As for the listener feeling disrespected, it sounds like more of a problem with that person than with you. Most people just get used to someone having a tic, unless it is loud for some reason. Given that common response to tics, it is safe to assume (from the given link) that you will not lose respect due to a tic.

The fact that your friends chide you for this says something more about their character if anything else. And, as for the second note, my link to "The Truth about Tics" dispels the mith of any link between tics and other psychiatric disorders.

tl:dr Not to worry


Naturo uses verbal tics to make his speech sound unique. In certain contexts (certain situations with certain people) that is perfectly acceptable. It's more or less using an exclamation as a persistent element of speech, much the same as Jesus Christ did with the word 'amen', which means 'truly'.

Many cultures use such devices, especially among youth, and lower classes who habitually mingle profane exclamations into every sentence. This habit occurs across many cultures. As a general rule verbal tics are considered linguistically informal, incorrect, and low-class.

But middle-class teenagers many times imitate the behavior of lower classes as a form of ridicule toward those who have less privilege. I realize Naturo is an animated series, but if you examine it you see that he developed the verbal tic in response to his mother, who uses it to express excitement or anger.

I would say you are much better off learning to express yourself in a way that is acceptable to your social stratum as a whole, not turning verbal tics on and off depending on whether or not the hearer will accept them.

I grew up in an upper middle-class family with both parents University educated. So I learned to speak correctly. But when I went to visit my Mother's relatives during summer each year, some of whom hadn't finished high school, and who were mostly beer-drinking, gun-shooting, working-class folks; I developed bad speech habits in a short time, some of which have stuck with me if I'm not careful.

In retrospect, I think it would have better if I had tried to always speak correctly and properly, because after a while your speech becomes a part of you.

As afar as imparting disrespect to your hearers, I would say you show lack of respect for yourself, by adopting a mode of speaking that is not seen in a positive light. However, as Christ has proved with the word, 'amen', verbal tics are not always a negative characteristic.

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