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How is 潔{いさぎよ}い related to 清{きよ}い?

First, I'd like to point out this question: [潔]{いさぎよ}い meaning

Second, I've found a possible etymology for 潔{いさぎよ}い on gogen-allguide.  

Gogen-allguide seems to say that いさぎよい probably comes from 甚{いた} + 清{きよし}, with いた expressing "to a great extent". Assuming I understood right, I don't quite see how this leads to the modern meaning(s) discussed in the other question.

I've also seen the word きよい written as 潔{きよ}い. This has me puzzled, too, because I'm not sure if it's supposed to express anything besides 清い. (My character dictionary doesn't list any such nuance, if so.) Is this a hint to the connection between these words, or a red herring?

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I learned them as "immaculate" (潔い) and "clean" (清い), but I don't know if the nuances translate over... –  silvermaple Nov 16 '12 at 0:42

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

gogen-allguide says that for the 'いさ’ part of いさぎよい, there are suggested origins of いた (甚) or 勇{いさ}む・勇{いさ}. The exact origin appears unclear.

At any rate, it suggests that the modern meanings to do with character reflect the meaning of 勇, not 甚.

This blog has it as 勇・清い as well, and defines it as 勇ましく清らかな 状態{じょうたい}を保{たも}つ決意{けつい}を表{あらわ}す. This gives the same origin, although it's more complaining about people mistaking it as being いさぎ・よい and saying things like いさぎがよい・いさぎがわるい.

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“it suggests that the modern meanings to do with character reflect the meaning of 勇, not 甚”: I think that something is wrong with this sentence. Maybe you meant to delete “to do with character”? –  Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 21 '12 at 23:28
@TsuyoshiIto, I think nkjt means "to with a person's character". Any other meaning just seems confusing to me. –  Eiríkr Útlendi Jun 16 at 16:59

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