The full story about the “~kaba” (〜かば) particle combination.

By | April 2, 2020

Yesterday I made a post about the “~kaba” particle combination that you can see here. But you may have realized that yesterday was April 1, and it turns out this post was actually an April Fool’s joke. The “~kaba” particle combination doesn’t actually exist.

Having said that, besides “kaba” itself much of the content in the post is actually true. For example “kaba” does mean “hippo” and “kappa” is a water imp used in Japanese folklore. The definition and example sentence for “~kana” is also correct.

There was a few hints in the post that it was joke. One is that I said many natives may not know about this expression (which is also true). But the main one is that “kaba” backwards is “baka” which means “idiot”, a word I wrote about in detail in this post. My comment about deers and horses was an illusion to the fact that the kanji for “Baka” is 馬鹿, which is written using the characters for “horse” and “deer”. Another hint is the strange-sounding translation I used for the English sentence (and happens to contain the word ‘fool’). Finally, near the end of the article I talked about speaking in katakana, which doesn’t make any sense––although katakana can be used to hint at some difference in pronunciation (like an unnatural one by a non-native speaker).

I hope that you’ll forgive me for this little joke, and I promise that my content every other day of the year will continue to be honest. But if you want to see another April Fool’s post I did a few years ago, check this out.

If you want to read some more serious content, check out this list of articles I wrote on particles, including a few real particle combinations.

(Note: the photo in this post and the one yesterday came from

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One thought on “The full story about the “~kaba” (〜かば) particle combination.

  1. Jim Miles

    Hahaha! Brilliant!

    I thought the article was a little bizarre but I’m used to you being so serious that I decided I would wait for part 2 and see if that helped it all make sense. Well…part 2 *did* help it all make sense!


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