Where did Deku from My Hero Academia get his name from?

Katsuki Bakugo always gave Izuku Midoriya a rough time in their childhood (Image via Studio Bones)
Katsuki Bakugo always gave Izuku Midoriya a rough time in their childhood (Image via Studio Bones)

My Hero Academia fans know Izuku Midoriya by his nickname "Deku," but some of them may be wondering where he got the moniker from.

The series protagonist always wanted to be a hero, even though he wasn't born with a Quirk. His great ambitions were the subject of much ridicule from his classmates, particularly Katsuki Bakugo. They couldn't believe that a Quirkless boy would ever have a chance to become a hero.

Bakugo is the one who gave Midoriya the nickname "Deku." This article will quickly take a look at what it means and why he chose it as a superhero name.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

How Deku got his name in My Hero Academia


There is a specific reason why Bakugo came up with the nickname for Midoriya in My Hero Academia, and it all began during their childhood days.

The term "Deku" and what it could mean


My Hero Academia begins with a simple flashback to Midoriya's early life, back when he was bullied by Bakugo.

Midoriya was born Quirkless, which means he didn't have any special powers. Due to this reason, Bakugo firmly believed that Midoriya would never become a hero. As a result, he began calling him "Deku" to mock him.

The term "Deku" is meant to be a Japanese abbreviation of the word "Dekunobou." It roughly translates to "good for nothing," which perfectly describes how Bakugo views Midoriya.

Interestingly, "Deku" can also be a Japanese abbreviation of "Dekiru." The term translates to "the ability to do something." This is a very clever wordplay that would go unnoticed by Western audiences, mainly due to the language barrier.

Midoriya proved he was anything but "good for nothing"


At the start of My Hero Academia, Midoriya attempted to save Bakugo's life when the latter was attacked by a slime monster. Superhero All Might had to intervene, but he was considerably impressed by Midoriya's resilience. This moment led the young protagonist to inherit One For All.

After he enrolled in U.A. High School, Midoriya needed to come up with a superhero name. Classmate Ochaco Uraraka convinced him to go with "Deku" by telling him about the term's double meaning.

As a result, Bakugo's nickname for Midoriya took on a completely different meaning for the soon-to-be superhero.