Suitable word for buddy/pal?

I’m sending a letter to a friend in Japan and I have some hiragana stickers that I want to use to write “buddy” or “pal” (I’ve already used up the ones that spell out his name in previous letters :joy:)

Context: I’m female, he’s male, we’re good friends who spent lots of time drinking together and hanging out when we both lived in Sapporo. I tend to call almost all of my friends “pal” or “bud” but I don’t know how well these translate.

I thought of あいぼ or なかま, I just wondered if anyone could help me with the nuances of them, if they are too masculine/formal/anything else? My Japanese is still very much receptive rather than productive :smile:

ありがとう~ in advance! <3


Here’s a longer list, though maybe it doesn’t have as much of the nuances you’re looking for.

Just a spelling note, this is あいぼう (相棒)


Like, in conversation? “Hey, bud!” “How are you doing today, pal?” sort of thing?

You don’t really do that in Japanese, I wouldn’t think.

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But in all the anime…

:wink::turtle: 俺たち仲間だぞ、相棒。

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You could always just do what Saeba Ryo does in City Hunter with his friend Makimura. Just shorten their name and add ちゃん. :joy:

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Thanks guys!

@Leebo cheers for the link and also the spelling note :smiley:

@Belthazar yep, probably more so in texts but also pretty often in real life too. I guess in Japanese they use each other’s names and suffixes in a similar way, whereas in EN we don’t say each other’s names quite as much…? anecdotal unsubstantiated claims

@TamanegiNoKame yesss, my knowledge of 相棒 is mainly from watching The Disastrous Life of Saiki K :laughing:


マブダチ comes to mind.