I don’t want no scrub


New Member
Hi Word Reference forum!

Hoping somebody can help me. I’m trying to translate in writing, a sentence from the 1999 song by TLC ‘No Scrubs’.

Would the Japanese write for ‘I don’t want no scrub’:

スクラブなんて必要ない. (Using Katakana for ‘scrub’)



Using the English for ‘scrub’ as it’s slang?

Any help much appreciated!! :)
  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Both the English alphabet version and the katakana version are okay.
    You can choose whichever you like.
    There is no definite rule for that. I don't think there is such deep meaning in choosing which, as you are worrying about.

    As for "scrub," I only knew it is a verb meaning "washing very hardly" or a noun to refer to the clothes that ER doctors wear. Anyway, at the top of the lyrics, the definition is shown, so we can understand what it means.

    In my case, I'm okay to see the katakana or the alphabets or the Japanese translations such as つまらない男.

    If you google "TLC No Scrubs 和訳" in Google Japan, you will get a lot of translations.
    (I cannot show the web pages here because these sites include the video, which is restricted by the forum rule.)

    For example, I'll quote the first four websites' translations for "I don't want no (any) scrub."
    ( I just realized that "I don't want no scrub" had an error of the double negative, whose meaning was actually the opposite.)

    1. scrubなんて必要ないわ
    3. つまらない男はいらないわ
    4. スクラブなんてお断り

    As you can see, all English alphabets, katakana, or Japanese translations are adopted by translators.
    1, 2, and 3 adopt "わ" because, in the Japanese colloquial expression, women use feminine wording, accompanied by わ at the end of a sentence. 

    スクラブなんて必要ないわ sounds much more natural than スクラブなんて必要ない because this should be colloquial.
    In a formal setting, スクラブなど必要ない would be better because なんて is a colloquial expression.

    必要ない(わ)、いらない(わ) and お断り(お断りわ is wrong though) have the same meaning.

    Hope this helps!
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    Senior Member
    American English
    1. scrubなんて必要ないわ
    3. つまらない男はいらないわ
    4. スクラブなんてお断り

    Personally, I don't care for any of those translations, since, as far as I know, スクラブ is not known in this meaning by the vast majority of Japanese. Also, a scrub is not a つまらない男. Here is what one dictionary says:

    Scrub is slang for someone who is just plain bad at something—a no-talent hack. This could be in sports, video games, or thanks to TLC’s hit song, relationships.

    I agree with that, but in the song lyrics, the emphasis is on the fact that the singer does not want a man who has no money, no job, etc. Therefore, in this context scrub is synonymous with deadbeat. Something like an 居候 (いそうろう), 怠け者、のらくら者, 文無しの男、etc. Maybe the natives can suggest something that would sound natural with this meaning.


    Senior Member
    I think つまらない男 is a very good translation because, in this context, I understand it is not the opposite of 面白い男・楽しい男・愉快な男.
    つまらない here is a more abstract word to refer to broader spectra, I think.

    I found a translation "ダメ男" on the web, too.

    Something like an 居候 (いそうろう), 怠け者、のらくら者, 文無しの男 may not be regarded as the cool translation in this kind of lyrics although they are literal translations, so we have to think of so-called liberal translations, right?

    ダサい男 might cover the meaning of this context as well, but it has more chance to mean different: not cool guy, not stylish guy.

    のび太はいらないわ may be a very good translation from a certain viewpoint. Because every Japanese people know who のび太 is, and what のび太 is like in a negative context.
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