There are Francophiles and Anglophiles, but nobody takes culture appreciation to the extreme like Japanophiles do. This is why several slightly derogatory terms have emerged to describe people with such an interest in Japan that they experience a sort of cultural fugue, a split from their nation. The predominant slang for this kind of person is weeb. This is a corruption of the earlier, also-still-in-use term weeaboo. While the words sound like they have very Oriental origins, weeaboo in fact originated from a webcomic, The Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch. In the comic, the word was intended to be used just that one time and was actually stylized wee-a-boo, but it was quickly spread by 4chan boards (for the site was originally intended for Japanophiles), evolved into weeaboo and eventually weeb, and replaced the more derogatory term wapanese, a portmanteau of "white" and "Japanese". Since then, usage has exponentially increased, especially from 2014 to 2016, when the word seeped into mainstream culture.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.