A person who is "everybody’s friend."
hap pou bi jin
noun , な-adjective

はっぽうじん is used to express “a person who is everybody’s friend” no matter who they are with

The first two kanji characters, はっぽう, literally translates two “eight directions”, but we figuratively interpret that to meaning “every direction”. The second set of characters, じん, translates to “a beautiful woman”, although here it’s used more in the gender-neutral context of “making oneself look good”. So the idea is that this person is always trying to make themselves look good in each ‘direction’ they face.

はっぽうじん might initially sound like a good thing, but it actually has a negative connotation. If you call someone a はっぽうじん, you are saying you do not trust them because you think he/she is being fake and just pretending to be nice. After all, a friend to all is a friend to none! But some Japanese even misunderstand this because it contains the word じん (“beautiful woman”) and they think it is a compliment! (We see this happen in some funny Japanese TV shows).

はっぽうじん is a noun, and sometimes people also use it as a な-adjective to help qualify a noun, such as in the phrase はっぽうじんどうりょう, or “a co-worker who is everybody’s friend.”

Example Sentences
  • ともだちはっぽうじんだとわれた。:(

    I was told by my friend that I act like I’m everybody’s friend. :(

  • はっぽうじんあねとはなかくできない。

    I can’t be a good friend with my older sister because she always acts like she is friends with everyone.