Moe (萌え, pronounced [moe]) is a Japanese slang word. It means "a rarefied pseudo-love for certain fictional characters (in anime, manga, and the like) and their related embodiments." Patrick W. Galbraith notes that it is a pun derived from a Japanese word that literally means "budding," as with a plant that is about to flower, and thus it can also be used to mean "budding" as with a preadolescent girl. Since the word is also a homonym for "burning" pronounced moe (燃え), there is also speculation that the word stems from the burning passion felt for the characters. The word has come to be used to mean one particular kind of "adorable", one specific type of "cute", mainly as applied to fictional characters.
The word is occasionally spelled Moé, and was originally related to a strong interest in a particular type or style of character in video games, anime or manga. "Moe!" is also used within anime fandom as an interjection. Girls who are moe are called moekko (萌えっ娘) from the honorific "娘" meaning "female child".