Are these 斑{ぶち} or そばかす?

spotted dog face

Are freckles (そばかす) in Japanese limited to human? Would it be a mistake to describe a pattern on dog's face as そばかす?

2 Answers 2


I haven't seen そばかす used for animals.

In this case, possible expressions include 「ぶち模様の犬」「顔にぶちのある犬」「まだら模様の犬」「ぶち毛の犬」「ぶち犬」.

  • What about 斑点{はんてん}? Looks like a synonym of ぶち, but an image search for 斑点犬 returns almost only Dalmatians and examples here dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/thsrs/11203/m0u suggest also wild cats (and states that 斑点 is used for patterns not only on animals). Is there a nuance that 斑点 is more "regular"?
    – macraf
    Sep 23, 2015 at 11:33
  • 2
    Technically, 「そばかす」 is only used for humans, but unless one is discussing animals scientifically or academically, it would be perfectly acceptable to use the word in casual chats about a particular dog. I see no problems at all in sayng things like 「(ウチの犬は)顔にそばかすみたいな斑点がある。」.
    – user4032
    Sep 23, 2015 at 11:43
  • @macraf There's no such word as 斑点犬, but you can use 斑点 to describe what ぶち means. Since you already know ぶち, I think you no longer have to descriptively say 顔に斑点のある犬.
    – naruto
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:13
  • @naruto Yes, I wondered if Japanese people differentiate between black spots like those en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle#/media/… and those en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatian_(dog)#/media/… (the latter look like points, that's why I asked if 斑点 is limited to spots like on Dalmatian breed)
    – macraf
    Sep 23, 2015 at 12:33

I don't think so. I never saw this expression has been used for animal.

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