What Does Deku Mean in My Hero Academia?


Anime Extras

Welcome, My Hero Academia fans! Have you ever wondered why the main protagonist of MHO is called “Deku” by his friends? It’s a genuine question because although his name is Izuku Midoriya, “Deku” doesn’t sound similar at all. Then what does Deku mean exactly? Actually, there is a very interesting origin and theory behind it.

The show has already explained it. And if you don’t know yet then you might have missed the explanation. Don’t worry though, we will cover everything for you. This post will explain all the things you need to know about the term “Deku.” So let’s start understanding the hidden meaning behind Izuku Midoriya’s nickname.

What Does Deku Mean in My Hero Academia

Origins of the Term Deku

As we know, Izuku Midoriya was a very weak and gullible child during his childhood. Which often resulted in him getting bullied. To make the matter worse he did not develop any quirk, unlike his friends. Despite these challenges, he was a devoted fan of All Might and other heroes.


Even though he couldn’t develop a quirk of his own, Izuku never let this discourage him. He dedicated himself to becoming a hero. He dedicatedly noted down every hero’s weaknesses and strengths. Izuku also prepared rigorously for UA High School, the best institution for hero training.

On the other hand, his childhood friend, Katsuki Bakugo, possessed a powerful quirk called “Explosion” and was exceptionally talented. He was very jealous of Izuku’s determination and dedication. So Bakugo and his friends often bullied Izuku. It was Bakugo who gave Izuku the nickname “Deku” to insult and belittle him.

What Does Deku Mean?

The name “Deku” has different meanings. It can vary depending on the perspective or language. Initially, the intended meaning of “Deku” was someone useless or a puppet. Bakugo gave this Insulting name to Izuku when he was bullying him in their childhood.

Izuku being bullied

But later in the series, one of Izuku’s friends, Ochako Uraraka, thought that “Deku” is inspired by “Dekiru”. The term Dekiru means a positive attitude or simply “Can Do. After that, the name “Deku” became an inspiration for Izuku, and later on, he chose Deku as his hero name.


If you are an English dub viewer, the name “Deku” has another meaning for you. In the English dub, “Deku” is said to be the short form of “Defenseless Izuku.” It takes “DE” from “defenseless” and “KU” from “Izuku,” making it “Deku.”

Deku in My Hero Academia

Now we all know what “Deku” symbolizes linguistically. But what does the “Deku” My Hero Academia show portray? What is the impact of the name Deku on Izuku? The good thing is meaning of Deku did not demotivate our protagonist. Because the negative meaning of Deku was never a matter for him.

Izuku was always positive throughout his journey from a quirk-less weak young boy to a worthy person who inherited All Might’s One For All Quirk. Have you seen anyone who breaks his hands to save someone? It’s painful and hard, right? But Deku has done it several times. It’s to the point that doctors warned him that he may lose his arms entirely.

deku and bakugo

Without a doubt, the way Deku is portrayed in the series as a very positive and dedicated hero. And Izuku has proved it several times.

Cultural Impact of The Term Deku

Many of us fans love Deku because of how loveable the character he is. We use the term Deku even more than his real name Isuku. Deku is a well-written character who has all those good qualities a protagonist should have. This made Deku so popular that every other mobile and laptop has a Deku wallpaper.

You can find Deku on Merchandise, fan art, t-shirts, phone cases, fan-made illustrations, and many more. Wherever we go, we see Deku’s fans. At every other fan convention, like Comic Con, you can spot many people cosplaying as Deku. Most people have a positive reaction to this character. You could even say that he is a guy with no haters.

In The End

The fact of the matter is, that many who watch My Hero Academia don’t know the meaning of “Deku”. And it’s not a crime, is it? The very reason you’re reading this article means you might not know what it means either. It is completely fine even if you do not know because Deku is still the same and the love for Deku is still the same.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts, please share them in the comments section below. Your feedback helps us improve our content and provide the information you seek. Thank you for reading!

About Susil Praharaj

Susil, with seven years of experience in watching anime, has become something of an expert in the field. With an impressive list of anime shows under his belt, he has gained a deep understanding of the anime world. Susil is not only an avid watcher but also a manga enthusiast who enjoys reading manga and exploring fan theories. He has also created many fan theories of his own, which he’ll be sharing on the blog.

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