I recently learned that the symbol 〼, called 枡記号【ますきごう】, can be used as a phonetic shorthand for ます, as in 豆腐あり[〼]【ます】. In a similar vein, I am aware that 〆 is used as a shorthand for しめ in 〆切【しめきり】 = 締め切り, and sometimes in other words.

What other phonetic shorthands should a reader of Japanese be aware of? (Or, is there a word I can use to describe all of these things so I can look them up myself? 記号 is too broad, since it includes all kinds of symbols, and I don't know of any more specific word.) For the purposes of this question, let us ignore 略字, which I'm led to understand are fairly numerous.

If there are a lot of them, feel free to close as "too broad", but I imagine there can't be that many of them.


The subset of 約物(特殊記号)you are referring to is 準{じゅん}仮名・漢字. One common symbol you will see in this category is 々. It has various names but denotes a repetition of kanji.

E.g. 各々{おのおの} or 時々{ときどき}.

  • I have seen 々 referred to as 踊り字. I'm not saying it's not also called 準仮名・漢字, but I've never heard that term for it.
    – istrasci
    Aug 14 '15 at 23:06
  • Yes, one name for 々 is 踊り字. But my understanding is that 踊り字 is itself a subset of 準仮名・漢字.
    – user224579
    Aug 14 '15 at 23:21
  • 準仮名・漢字 seems to be a part of this standard: JIS X 0208 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JIS_X_0208
    – user224579
    Aug 14 '15 at 23:26

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