美化語 - making words polite (美化 - literally: beautification) by adding the prefix お/ご(御)to a word.

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13
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1answer
837 views

Honorific prefix 「ご」 vs 「お」

Some nouns take the 「ご」 prefix: ご両親 {りょうしん} ご家族 {かぞく} ご無事 {ぶじ} ご安心 {あんしん} ご丁寧 {ていねい} While many others take the 「お」 prefix: お母さん お仕事 {しごと} お月 {つき} お内 {うち} お客 {きゃく} In ...
10
votes
2answers
597 views

Why is the honorific o used for the bathroom?

I've seen the honorific "o"/"go" (is it called bikago?) being used as politness or reverence: o-cha for non-western tea, o-namae when talking about someone else's name, o-genki instead of just genki, ...
10
votes
3answers
605 views

Why is water polite but ice not?

I was amused by, and interested in, this little sign on a water dispenser in a sandwich shop: The options are that you can have ice only, ice and water, or just water. What intrigued me was that ...
7
votes
2answers
276 views

Why does お[馬鹿]{ばか}さん contain honorific お?

Why does お[馬鹿]{ばか}さん contain an honorific? If you're basically calling someone silly, why be "polite" about it? Also, what is the difference in meaning between お馬鹿さん and just 馬鹿 (I hear the former ...
5
votes
4answers
384 views

does anyone know of any o-words or go-words which are absolutely neutral?

Does anyone know of any o-words or go-words which are absolutely neutral (have no nuances of being polite / courteous / respectful / womanly / cute etc etc)? The only ones I'm aware of currently is ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Are all words stripped of bikago when listed in dictionaries?

When checking dictionaries (jisho.org and Wiktionary) for お名前, I found that it wasn't listed as お名前, but only as 名前. Do most dictionaries strip bikago from all words, or do they typically strip bikago ...
5
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3answers
187 views

How often does gairaigo get bikago?

How often does gairaigo get bikago? おトイレ is mentioned by Wiktionary, and Wikipedia mentions it being used ironically in o-kokakōra, but I haven't come across any others. One case where its absence ...