"PayPay" is a smartphone digital wallet used in Japan. Yet, 「ペーペー」is also a slang term for the 肩書き of 新入社員。I always said my 肩書き was either 「ペーペー」or 「カバン持ち」。

I am so confused.
(1) Is "ペーペー" really, in fact, a rarely used slang term and a ダジャレ does not immediately "click" to form with "PayPay" in the mind of native speakers?
(2) In English, I do pronounce "PayPay" with a deeper, "hard A", and so "PayPay" in English does not sound like "ペーペー" in Japanese, but Japanese does not have "hard vowels".

What's going on? Is "PayPay" and "ペーペー" a ダジャレ to native speakers? How do they feel about it? Doesn't it effect the marketing of the digital wallet? (it sounds very weird to me...)


1 Answer 1


You can check the pronunciation of ペイペイ on the official YouTube channel. I can clearly hear the イ sound. ペイペイ【HLLL】 (PayPay) and ペーペー【LHHL】 ("novice") sound very different both in terms of the vowel and the accent. I did think it was a funny name, but it never occurred to me that it might be a pun.

  • 1
    @user312440 PayPay may be pronounced like ペーペー because of this (especially in hasty speech). Still, the accent is critically different.
    – naruto
    Feb 24, 2020 at 22:10
  • I think I got it. Just. wow. Native English speakers who are not learning Japanese will always just say "pay" twice in the same tone. And, there's no way to write the correct pronunciation of "Pay Pay" in English. But, I heard this digital wallet is pretty cool and popular.
    – user312440
    Feb 24, 2020 at 22:27

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