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I watched this video in which the story is supposed to be a folk tale but everybody speaks an exaggerated ギャル語 slang. The video has subtitles that explain all the ギャル語 words.

The word 「[KBN]{ケービーエヌ}」 was used frequently. In the subtitles it was "translated" to 「小判」, an Edo period gold coin. I understand that in the video the coins are probably supposed to be koban, but because this video was about the ギャル語 slang, it made me wonder if the word is still used for money in general.

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No, "小判" isn't a word we modern Japanese (including ギャル and ギャル男) would use to refer to coins of today, or money in general for that matter. It is precisely the name for the flat, oblong piece of gold that was used as currency in the Edo period.

Whoever wrote the script of the video had at least two choices in translating "小判" into modern slang: They could first take the modern equivalent of what 小判 was, which would be お金, 硬貨, etc, and render it in the way those lexically creative hipsters would say it in their vernacular (which would be... ゼニ, カネ or マニー?, I don't know.)

Or they could also just stick with the word "小判", without worrying to much about consistency (which they shouldn't), and play with it in the way ギャル/ギャル男 in those days could have (i.e. the syllable-based initialism). They went with this latter approach, and to good effect, in my opinion.

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  • Thanks for the insightful answer. The KBN here is an instance of KY語, right? – siikamiika Apr 30 '17 at 20:49
  • Yes, it should qualify. – goldbrick May 1 '17 at 13:42
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The word KBN is used for money 小判{こばん} in this video. But, the word 小判{こばん} is not used for money now, even in a ギャル world.

By the way, I do not think that it will be useful for learning Japanese much if you remember the words in this video, though.

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  • I see. Thanks for the warning :D I will be careful and not use words like 「りょ」 or 「モノホン」 for official stuff. However, I think that even slang has value as human language. The scope is smaller than with normal Japanese words like 「了解」 and 「本物」, though. – siikamiika Apr 30 '17 at 21:10
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What that video is doing is taking the original lines and "converting" into "gal" talk (personally this doesn't sound like "gal" talk but more like "party people" talk). Note this is the uploader doing his own translation, so he is actually making things up that sound like the speech pattern.

This type of speech pattern sometimes shortens Japanese words into just consonants, so he takes 小判 (which has already been answered that it is not used today) and remixes it into which he thinks it might sound like if people from that time period spoke in "gal" talk.

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  • Interesting. Is this "party people" talk still similar to how the public perceives ギャル語? Also, there must be some party people among ギャル :D – siikamiika Apr 30 '17 at 23:13
  • @siikamiika The problem is, the man's lines in this video are not translated to what a ギャル would say, but what a (party people) man would say, so ギャル is only 50% accurate. It was probably just more convenient for the creator of the video to use ギャル to encompass all "young party people". (ギャル男 do exist, but I feel like this falls under チャラ男 more; this is kinda subjective, so I'm not 100% certain.) Accuracy wasn't much of a concern, I suppose. – Jimmy May 1 '17 at 5:53
  • Makes sense. It's a bit like how the media uses "hacking" as a blanket term for computer-related crime. More clicks – siikamiika May 1 '17 at 9:07

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