While reading a short story I came across the following: 大判小判.

I understand that [大判]{おおばん} can refer to a large traditional Japanese coin and [小判]{こばん} can refer to a smaller traditional Japanese coin. As there was no particle placed between the two I was wondering if they had a special meaning when written together like this?

1 Answer 1


In fairy tales, yes, we sometimes hear 大判小判 almost as a set phrase. 大判小判がざっくざく is a famous 4-4-5 sound phrase found in a children's song called 花咲かじいさん. I think this phrase is known to most Japanese native speakers.

I would say 大判小判 is preferred because it can sound nicer than 大判と小判 or 大判や小判 in some situations. It means nothing more than large and small traditional coins.

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