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Desu (Japanese: です) is a Japanese word that is used by both fans of Japanese culture and those who mock the former. In most situations, desu is used in spam attacks and thread derailments on forums and image boards alike. The use of the word is usually accompanied by Suiseiseki, from the Japanese anime Rozen Maiden.
The Japanese word desu is a copula: a word that links the subject of a sentence with the verb. A close English approximation of this would be the words “this (that, he, she, it, etc) is” unless it’s coupled with an adjective or a verb. Regardless of how it is used, its main function is to end sentences intended to be a statement. Due to the grammatical structure in Japanese, desu and verb tenses are used at the end of a sentence or phrase. (ex. “This is Sushi” would be translated into “Kore wa sushi desu.” and “I like Sushi” would be “Sushi ga suki desu”)
Other Japanese copulas are da, de, wa, na, and more. The form desu is essentially the same as da except that it is used in a casual, but still polite or proper context.
In standard Tokyo dialect, the u in “desu” is not pronounced, as if it were spelled “des.” The character of Suiseiseki pronounces the u, which is common in women in Northern Honshu and Hokkaido.
The earliest memetic usage of the word desu as a method of spam attack began in 2006 in a retaliatory forum raid on 4chan’s random image board, /b/. The raid was started by the anime board, /a/, after users from /b/ staged a raid of their own. Due to the tourettes-like nature of word’s primary usage it was quickly adopted by /b/ users.
Image macros using the word desu or images of Suiseiseki are used commonly on 4chan by fans of anime (sometimes referred to by the derogatory term weeaboo ), and by those mocking them.
The character Suiseiseki from the anime series Rozen Maiden ends every sentence with desu. Many people have found her obsessive need to be polite, even in cases where it may or may not be grammatically correct, to be peculiar.
There are even “combo-videos” where you can hear hundreds of unique utterances of
Notable Derivative: Moshi Moshi X Desu
“Moshi Moshi X Desu” is a catchphrase commonly used in image macros with people picking up the phone. “Moshi Moshi” is the Japanese way for saying “Hello” on the telephone. This has been combined with Desu, making the hello message end with Desu. It is commonly found on forums and image boards where a person starts with a image macro featuring the phrase, whereas others follow. But it’s also used as a way to Threadjack, similar to Desu.
Related Meme: Gaston
While originally spawned from a youtube fad, Gaston, a character from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, is a commonly used counter spam to desu threads. This has been depicted in many image macros and even flash videos such as 4Chan City – Craptastrophe.