What is the etymology of 右に出る, as in 「右に出る者はいない」? What on earth makes the right superior to the left? Relatedly, is 左に出る ever used to mean "inferior to"?
Does the term "もしもし" (moshimoshi) predate the telephone? Does it have any use besides answering the phone? Where does it come from, is it just a reduplication of "もし" (moshi) "if", and if so how does ...
Why is the name 五右衛門 read as ごえもん? How can the three kanji 五右衛 be read with only two syllables?
There are three unique words that begin with こころ～: 快い （こころよい）、 試みる （こころみる）、 志 （こころざし） What is the origin of these words in relation to "heart/spirit/mind", if any??? Or is this just something ...
I've noticed the following sets of words that seem to have a very obvious pattern, and, of course, their meanings are very closely related: これ、 それ、 あれ、 どれ この、 その、 あの、 どの ここ、 そこ、 あそこ、 どこ What are ...
For the longest time I've been hearing the word ダイヤ and just always assumed it meant "Diamond", but found recently it all means "train schedule". My question is, what word/language did this word ...
In a book I was reading, a tomboyish character complained about the expectations her parents had of her as their only daughter. She said: 「蝶よ花よと育てたかったらしいんだけど」 EDICT defines 蝶よ花よ as "bringing up ...
I am particularly interested in the phrase 「水色時代」. Did it come from the old manga that used the phrase as its title, or has the phrase been carrying that particular cultural connotation long before ...
According to Denshi Jisho, いい and よい share the same Kanji, and the both roughly mean "good". Why are there two different pronunciations for the same meaning, and what are some ways to be able to ...