I have been wondering if Japanese language include letter P. I have actually seen words like Pan in Japanese which means bread, but then I found out it was borrowed from Spanish. Then is there any Japanese words (not borrowed from other languages) or verbs has letter P?

Sorry for my English, am still learning...

  • 2
    日本 =「にっん」。。。
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 8:18
  • Nihon? well, I think it is also pronounced Nippon thanks for your try But is there words with one P not like: Nippon, Yappari....
    – Achmad
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 8:25
  • 2
    Heh.. then how about 「乾杯」「返品」「たんぽぽ」「もんぺ」「ち○ぽ」・・・(ん?「ん」の後ばっかりだ!)
    – chocolate
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 8:42
  • 3
    You wrote "letter P", but it seems like you might actually be asking about the sound /p/. Japanese isn't typically written with letters, so it doesn't really have a "letter P", but we can still talk about where /p/ occurs in different strata of vocabulary (non-mimetic native Japanese words, mimetic words, Sino-Japanese words, and recent loanwords). Is that what you're really asking about?
    – user1478
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 12:39
  • 2
    @Earthliŋ Well, you can call it the /h/ 〜 /p/ alternation, but I understand if that's not a satisfying name :-) It's a different process than rendaku, though. Historically /p/ and /b/ were the pair related by rendaku, but /p/ became /h/ in intervocalic contexts, so now /h/ becomes /b/ via rendaku – even though /b/ is of course not the voiced version of /h/! For example, /hitobito/ or /hibi/, not */hitopito/ or */hipi/. You can find a description of the alternation between /h/ and /p/ in Labrune's The Phonology of Japanese.
    – user1478
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 13:33

3 Answers 3


How about せんぱい?

Noun 1. senior (at work or school); superior; elder; older graduate; progenitor; old-timer

  • 4
    「サッポロ」, along with so many place names in Hokkaido, comes from Ainu, not Japanese. We can't let the kanji fool us.
    – user4032
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 9:15
  • @l'électeur Thanks for letting me know - I've removed that part of my answer.
    – GoBusto
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 9:36
  • へたっぴ、いいだしっぺ ← 屁
  • …っぽい ← 多し

These words seem to be originally Japanese, besides onomatopoeia.


Along time ago, there were originally no "h" sounds and were "P" sounds so in outdated kanji, you'd find a lot of onyomi and kunyomi with "P" sounds.

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