A common internet meme is to use 🅱️ as a replacement for B's in a word, such as "🅱️oneless" or "trou🅱️le". Sometimes it's additionally done for C's, such as "🅱️o🅱️a 🅱️ola". Is this a thing ever done in Japanese text, and if so, is there a convention as to how? It's not as straightforward, since B's won't occur individually.

For instance, I could imagine "バス停" being rewritten as "🅱️ァス停", or as "🅱️🅰️ス停", or "🅱️aス停" (with either a fullwidth or ASCII a), to name a few options. I could also imagine it just never being imitated because of the awkwardness.

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    This might have some common ground with using Katakana where one would expect Hiragana, such as particles, but not to the same degree of tomfoolery I think
    – psosuna
    Oct 31, 2018 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


In the last few years 🅱🅱🅰 has become very popular. It is an abbreviation for ばばあ 'an old woman' (hag).

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    Perhaps you could show some examples of (or justify) this being a popular trend?
    – Flaw
    Nov 1, 2018 at 6:20
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    I was referring not to the word being verbalised. But your assertion of using the B and A logos in replacement of the word.
    – Flaw
    Nov 1, 2018 at 7:13
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    It is written BBA, and verbalized as ばばあ. You will see it used frequently in apps such as Line, Mixi and countless others. There are many graphical variations, but they are all canonically equivalent.
    – Naohiko
    Nov 1, 2018 at 7:21
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    This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to learn! Thank you! For those requesting examples, I found google.co.jp/… to give lots of examples of the emoji being used. For instance, twitter.com/bbamesen has it set in their username ("🅱️🅱️🅰️ゃん"), and on instagram at instagram.com/p/BXR--yOFBQb a user writes "これ飲みたいのに、なかなか行かない🅱🅱🅰ーー😂😂秒飲みって爆笑". Nov 1, 2018 at 8:37
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    The spelling of "BBA" itself is relatively common, but it has nothing to do with B-substitution, red color or enclosing characters with a square. What you have found via Google is just a sporadic example, and I believe it's far from something that can be called a meme. Did you really find lots of examples of 🅱🅱🅰?
    – naruto
    Nov 1, 2018 at 10:07

Is this a thing ever done in Japanese text

If you specifically mean "replacing B/C (and only B and C) with the red/squared emoji 🅱️", then, no, that has never been a thing in Japan. I did not know such a phenomenon until today, and its cultural background (according to this) is not something Japanese people are familiar with. Of course people can read 🅱️🅰️ス停, but virtually no one will understand why you are doing it.

  • While this is useful to hear, I would mention that most people who use 🅱️ in English definitely have no idea where it comes from. As with many memes, it's just ... something people do, and so they mimic it. While I wouldn't expect many Japanese to be familiar with the gangs of Los Angeles, I imagined the meme bleeding over across the internet. Still! Good to know. Nov 1, 2018 at 11:04
  • @AlexMeiburg Well, Bowsette/クッパ姫 caught on simultaneously in Japan and the US, but it's rather exceptional. Most net memes are fairly domestic. :)
    – naruto
    Nov 1, 2018 at 11:16

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