I can't find a related discussion, not here, not on the Internet at large, so I am surprised this seemingly hasn't been asked or discussed.

純真ぶるのはやめろ。この数週間、僕たちはいつ情熱的なキスを交わしてもおかしくなかった。君もそれはわかっているはずだ。私はあなたほどにはキスをしたいと思っていなかった"そんなふりをするのはやめてくれ。今みたいに中断されただけでもたまらないのに、そのうえ偽善者ぶられるのは我慢ならない (source)

ぶる is a 五段活用動詞, so this is not 可能形. The context doesn't seem to warrant 尊敬体 either. 自発? But this is not related to thinking. So 受動態 seems to be the only possibility by a process of elimination. But what does it mean to be on the receiving end of behaving like/assuming the air of something?

Does 偽善者ぶられる mean you, the listener—the implied subject here—are seen by me as behaving like a hypocrite? Or I somehow suffer as a result of you behaving like a hypocrite?

Here's another example.


  • 7
    Not your question but 偽善者ぶる sounds strange to me. Since 偽善者 is 善人ぶる人, 偽善者ぶる is like saying 善人ぶる人ぶる or 善人ぶりぶる…
    – aguijonazo
    Dec 22, 2021 at 9:19
  • @aguijonazo Not sure if that's because the passage is excerpted from a translated work. I've added the source. The translator seems to be a native speaker though...
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 22, 2021 at 19:53
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    This seems to be a rather simple example of 迷惑の受け身 like 雨に降られた. Are you okay with that? Do you mind if this was marked as a dupe of this and this, for example?
    – naruto
    Dec 23, 2021 at 9:16
  • @naruto Yes, please. Thank you. I guess I will just have to read more to accustom myself to 迷惑の受け身
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 23, 2021 at 9:20
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    @Eddie Kal Competent native speakers produce less-than-well-formed constructions like this from time to time, like eggcorns, malapropisms, misnegations, etc. "偽善者ぶる" is somewhat like "irregardless".
    – goldbrick
    Dec 26, 2021 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


振る(ぶる, essentially ふる undergoing a 濁音 pronunciation change by being used as an attachment or suffix-verb. Usually written in kana alone) indicates acting in a certain fashion.

Explicitly, it only indicates the way that a person acts, without any other judgement (usage ①). But quite often it is used to imply "putting on airs" or "acting like something (despite not actually being that way)" for example, in 「いい子ぶる」 "acting like a good child" -> "playing goody two-shoes" (usage ②)

In your examples the base expression is...

「偽善者ぶる」 "to act like a hypocrite" -> "to act hypocritically" (usage ①)

「お姉さんぶる」 "to act like (my) older sister (even though you aren't)" (usage ②)

In this case, then, the verbs are then put into the 受身形 passive form. This indicates that the speaker is emphasizing not just that the listener is acting in that fashion (putting aside the question of whether they actually are or aren't the thing they're acting as), but that the listener was/is acting that way in relation to the speaker.

「偽善者ぶられるのは我慢ならない」 "I can't take it that you're acting like a hypocrite to me!"

「これくらいでお姉さんぶられてもな」 "Even if you act like you're my older sister after as little as this..." -> something like "What are you doing acting like you're my older sister, even though our connection has been this slight/minimal?" (Japanese is very context sensitive, so this small remark in isolation is difficult to pin down exactly. This is one possible meaning it could have, not the definitive one for that passage.)

  • Thank you for the answer, but I think you meant "assume the air of", because "to put on airs" means something quite different.
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 23, 2021 at 9:21
  • thank you for that feedback i suppose.
    – user50061
    Dec 23, 2021 at 14:50

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