Boku: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
October 6, 2023

1. Boku (pronoun): A Japanese first-person pronoun that means “I” or “me,” typically used by young males in informal situations.
2. Boku (noun): A mobile payment platform that allows users to pay for digital goods and services with their phone numbers.
3. Boku (noun/interjection): (also bokoo) A play on the French word beaucoup, which means “a lot” or “very much.” 

The term "boku" is versatile in its application, covering linguistic, technological, and colloquial grounds. Having a grasp of its diverse meanings is crucial for understanding specific cultural, tech, and linguistic contexts.

"Boku" Definition: What Does "Boku" Mean?

"Boku" encompasses a range of meanings, each distinct in its own domain, from linguistics to technology and playful slang. Below are its primary applications:

  • Japanese Pronoun: "Boku" is one of several ways to say "I" in Japanese. Typically, young males use it in informal situations, although the rules can vary based on context and individual preferences.
  • Mobile Payment: Boku is also the name of a mobile payment platform. It allows users to pay for digital services using phone numbers, linking charges to mobile phone bills.
  • Slang Term: As a play on the French word "beaucoup," "boku" or "bokoo" is sometimes used colloquially to indicate "a lot" or "very much," often as a light-hearted joke or slang.

Parts of Speech

"Boku" can serve as both a pronoun and a noun, depending on its context of use.

How to Pronounce "Boku"?

It is pronounced in two syllables. The first syllable, "bo," has a long "o" sound as in "bone," and the second syllable, "ku," sounds like "coo."

Phonetic Pronunciation: boʊ.kuː

Synonyms of "Boku": Other Ways to Say "Boku"

Given the diverse meanings of "boku," its synonyms vary by context:

  • For the Japanese pronoun: Watashi, Ore (other first-person pronouns in Japanese).
  • For the mobile payment: Mobile payment system, phone bill payment.

Antonyms of "Boku":

As "boku" has specific meanings across different contexts, its antonyms are also context-specific:

  • For the Japanese pronoun: Anata (meaning "you" in Japanese)

Examples of "Boku" in a Sentence

Using "boku" in a sentence can be contingent on the particular meaning being invoked. Here are some examples across its different contexts:

Here are ten sentences that demonstrate its various contexts:

1. In casual settings, he uses boku to refer to himself in Japanese.
2. The payment went through smoothly using the Boku platform.
3. Out of spite, he exaggerated the number of items he wanted by saying he wanted boku of them.
4. It's not common for older Japanese men to use boku when speaking about themselves.
5. I can't wait to see how boku items we've sold during the sale.
6. As a joke, she replied, "I've got boku reasons why!" referencing the French slang.
7. He transitioned from using boku to "watashi" as he grew older and felt the need for formality.
8. The integration of the Boku system has expanded payment options for many online platforms.
9. "Oh snap! He said he ate boku chocolates. That's way too many!"
10. Using boku in a formal meeting in Japan might be seen as inappropriate, given the casual nature of the pronoun.

Frequency of Use

The term "boku" as a Japanese pronoun is frequently used among younger males in informal settings. However, its usage as the name of a mobile payment system or as a slang reference to "beaucoup" would be more niche and context-specific. Within the domain of Japanese language learners or those engaged with mobile payments, "boku" would be encountered more regularly.

Variants of "Boku"

While "boku" is distinct in its meanings, some variations or associated terms exist, especially within its linguistic context in Japanese.

1. Watashi: Another first-person pronoun in Japanese used by both genders.
2. Ore: A more casual and masculine way to say "I" in Japanese, used predominantly by males.

Related Terms to "Boku"

These terms further elucidate its meaning across different domains.

1. Watashi
2. Ore
3. Mobile Payment
4. Digital Wallet
5. Beaucoup
6. Slang
7. Japanese Language
8. Financial Transaction

Etymology: History and Origins of "Boku"

The term "boku" in its linguistic context traces back to Japanese origins. Historically, while "boku" is employed by younger males, its use wasn't always restricted to this demographic. Its application evolved, cementing its current informal and young male association. The term's introduction as a mobile payment platform and its playful association with "beaucoup" are more recent and English-centric developments.

Derivatives and Compounds of "Boku"

Given "boku's" diverse meanings, a few derivatives and compounds are associated with it:

1. Boku-pay: A potential term to describe payments made using the Boku platform.
2. Boku-style: An adjective to describe something in the style or manner of the playful slang interpretation of "boku" (though this is more of a playful or imaginative derivative than a standard one).

Common Misspellings of "Boku"

Ensuring accurate spelling of "boku" is essential, especially given its different contexts. Here are some frequently encountered misspellings or alternative forms:

1. Bocco
2. Bokoo
3. Bokku

10 Idioms Similar to "Boku"

Given "boku's" meanings, especially the slang interpretation of "a lot," idioms related to abundance or quantity can be loosely associated with it:

1. A dime a dozen
2. A drop in the bucket
3. A mountain out of a molehill
4. The world is your oyster
5. Break the bank
6. Loaded for bear
7. Make a killing
8. More than one can shake a stick at
9. Worth its weight in gold
10. A penny for your thoughts

10 Common Questions About "Boku"

The multi-faceted term "boku" prompts numerous inquiries across its diverse meanings:

1. How is "boku" used in Japanese?

"Boku" is predominantly employed by young males to refer to themselves in informal contexts.

2. What's the difference between "boku" and "watashi" in Japanese?

While both mean "I," "watashi" is gender-neutral, and "boku" is more male-centric and informal.

3. How does the Boku payment system work?

It allows users to pay for digital goods and services using their phone numbers, adding charges to their mobile phone bills.

4. Is "boku" in relation to "beaucoup" widely understood?

The slang interpretation might not be universally recognized, especially among non-French speakers.

5. Why do some people prefer using "boku" over other pronouns in Japanese?

It often resonates with younger males due to its informal tone and societal norms.

6. Are there other mobile payment systems like Boku?

Yes, there are various mobile payment systems, but each might have unique features and operational models.

7. Can females use "boku" in Japanese?

While traditionally male-centric, language evolves, and there's no strict rule against females using "boku." However, it's less common.

8. Is the Boku payment platform secure?

Like most reputable digital payment platforms, Boku employs security measures to protect user information and transactions.

9. How did the slang "boku" or "bokoo" originate from "beaucoup"?

It's a playful and colloquial twist on the French word, likely arising from humorous or casual conversations among English speakers familiar with French.

10. Is "boku" used in formal Japanese writing or speech?

Given its informal nature, "boku" is less likely to be used in formal writing or speeches in Japanese.


"Boku" is a term that spans linguistic, technological, and colloquial domains. While deeply rooted in Japanese culture as a pronoun, its influence extends to mobile payment systems and playful English slang. Grasping its varied applications enables better communication and understanding across these diverse spheres. Dive deeper into such words to enrich your linguistic palette and cultural insights.

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