Two or more words which share a meaning in at least one of the senses of each.

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6
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1answer
220 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Are 勅 and 詔 simply synonyms?

I cannot find a clear difference between these two kanji: 勅 : Imperial decree (みことのり、ショウ) 詔 : Imperial edict (みことのり、チョク) The English definitions for "decree" and "edict" are so similar, I ...
5
votes
1answer
345 views

Terms for Royalty

Why are there so many terms for royalty? And I'm talking about generic words like "king", "queen", etc. I seem to remember from my studies that certain terminology was used specifically for Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
320 views

Fun with synonyms - “to grab/catch/capture”

Here's a question for you experts. I've actually asked this to my Japanese friends, but I want to see how you guys answer too. Explain the differences in the following verbs and which one(s) appear ...
5
votes
2answers
438 views

What's the difference between 触る and 触れる?

These two seem to overlap almost completely. The only thing I can really tell is that 触れる seems that it can also be used in a metaphorical sense ("touch on" something; feel; perceive). I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

What's the difference between 売店 and 商店

Is 売店 more used for smaller stuff, like a stand? I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the exact difference.
5
votes
1answer
322 views

What's the difference between 腹切り and 切腹?

I need to add a body to submit my question, so I'll just say the Mortal Kombat seemed to believe that the term 腹切り (はらきり harakiri) was more appropriate for self slaughter (i.e., throwing a boomerang ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

さまよう vs ぶらつく vs うろつく for the sense of “to wander”?

I thought I might add a word to my Japanese vocabulary that means as close to "to wander" as possible in English. In the English Wiktionary three Japanese words are mentioned but only one has an ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Is there a shorter way to say 下の名前?

Since 名前 can also mean full name, it would be nice to have a single word that is complimentary to 苗字. Is there one available for common use?
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Are the meanings of 煙 and 烟 identical?

I noticed that 煙 in the phrase 茶煙永日香{ちゃえんえいじつかんばし} sometimes appears as 烟. For example, here is a teapot with 茶煙永日香 and a scroll with 茶烟永日香. Is there a difference in meaning between 煙 and 烟? 煙 and 烟 ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

On “おてもと” and its many variants for “chopsticks”

I've always known the Japanese word for "chopsticks" to be (お)箸{はし}. Today in my usual practice of reading everything around me I looked up what was written on the wrapper of the disposable ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

自分の vs 自らの when used for humans

What's the difference between 自分の and 自らの? Both can be used to mean "oneself", but is there a difference in their nuances / usages? (e.g. what would be the difference between あの子は、自らの命と引換に… and ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Fun with synonyms - “freeze”

I'm a little confused on the difference between 凍る 【こおる】 and 凍える 【こごえる】. From what I've researched, it seems like 凍る focuses more on the physical process of something freezing, and the result being ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Fun with synonyms - “perhaps/maybe/probably”

What are the differences when using the following words/phrases to mean "perhaps", "maybe" or "probably"? 多分 恐らく 蓋し {けだし} もしかして ひょっとして なかろう (negative -> probably not) だろう / でしょう / であろう かも知れない ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

The difference between 書物、図書 and 本

What are the differences between these three words. They all seem to translate to "books". 書物、図書 and 本
4
votes
2answers
256 views

餌食 vs 獲物​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What is the difference between 餌食{えじき} and 獲物{えもの}? Both mean "prey", so how do we decide when to use which? What is the difference in their nuances?
4
votes
1answer
512 views

Does 鉄拳 mean “fist” or “iron fist”?

The kanji for 鉄拳 seems to suggest that the word means "iron fist". However, various dictionaries suggests that the meaning is simply "fist". For example, Edict shows that the meaning for 鉄拳 is ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Are 清酒{せいしゅ} and 日本酒{にほんしゅ} two words for the same thing?

As well as the several other kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks I seem to have found two words which both mean the drink known in the west as "saké". Now I know 酒{さけ} can be used for many kinds of ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

What is the difference between 危ない and 危うい?

I came across this question, and found the same meaning in the dictionary for both options (a-危ない) or (b-危うい) ですから 下がってください however the answer booklet says it is (a-危ない), what is the difference? ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

The difference between 辞書 and 字引

My dictionary lists both 辞書{じしょ} and 字引{じびき} as simply, "Dictionary." On tatoeba.org I can only find example sentences of 字引 where it is used in the phrase: 生き字引 = A walking dictionary ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

What is a good synonym for「〜のに」at the end of a sentence?

I'm trying to come up with a good synonymous expression to put on a flashcard for 「〜のに」at the end of a sentence like these 彼が出て行けばいいのに。(I wish he would go.) あの建物さえなければ、きれいな景色が見えるのに。(If it wasn't for ...
4
votes
1answer
614 views

What's the difference between 招待, 招く and 誘う?

I've stumbled upon these 3 words. I think meaning of 招待 is: invite (as in a formal invitation) The other two seem rather confusing to me, though.
4
votes
1answer
86 views

影 vs 形 vs 形状. What's the difference between them?

I've been reading a text and all three of these come up 影 vs 形 vs 形状. I know they mean shape/figure, but is there a more nuanced difference between them? I can see the logic of where they are in the ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Fun with synonyms - “evaluation/investigation/etc.”

Explain the differences in the following vocabulary. They all essentially mean some form of investigation, inspection, etc. Please don't just write the definitions; I'm lost on how they differ, when ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

降参する vs 諦める​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What's the difference between 降参する and 諦める? Both seems to have the meaning of "to give up", for example: ぜったい降参しない。(I will never give up.) ぜったい諦めない。(I will never give up.) What's the difference ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Talking about people

first time asking a question on here. What is the difference in meaning between 人々、人物、人、人類、人間 and if you know any others it would be nice to include those too. How do you use them properly?
3
votes
1answer
127 views

What's the difference between 見解 and 意見

I've been unable to find the difference from example sentences online. Is it a matter of formality? Something completely else?
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What's the difference between 程 and 程度?

What the difference between 程 and 程度? I haven't been able to find any using my dictionary.
3
votes
1answer
179 views

返{かえ}る / 戻{もど}る vs “come back” / “go back” / “return”

In English we have a generic and two directional ways of saying related things: return - doesn't imply a direction, has other uses including transitive ones (I returned the book I borrowed) come ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

火を噴く vs 火を吐く​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

What's the difference between 火を噴いて{ふいて} and 火を吐いて{はいて}? Both seems to mean fire-spitting, like a fire-breathing dragon, but is there any difference in their nuances?
3
votes
0answers
99 views

水疱 vs 火脹れ vs 水脹れ vs 肉刺

While hitchhiking from Tokyo to Sapporo in the past couple of days I devloped a few blisters on the soles of my feet. I like to learn my vocabulary based on my experience so looked up "blister" but ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

On the two equivalents on maps of “you are here” (現在地{げんざいち} and 現在位置{げんざいいち})

I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here": 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Is “ガール” (gāru) now considered a Japanese word? What about “ガールズ” (gāruzu)?

In my wanderings around Japan giving my kana knowledge some practice I've noticed both the words "ガール" (gāru) and "ガールズ" (gāruzu) in use at least in signage. Obviously they are borrowed from English ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

Differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?

What are the differences between 死ぬ{しぬ}, 他界する{たかいする} and 亡くなる{なくなる}?
1
vote
1answer
175 views

What are the differences and usage patterns for 常套句, 言い草, 決まり文句, 諺, and 名言?

This is a little bit of an encyclopedic question, but I would like to know what separates the four expressions in the title, i.e., what separates them when they are close to referring to the same ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

穿る vs ほじる vs ほじくる

In wondering how to expressing the act of picking one's nose in Japanese I came across the following term or terms: 穿る / ほじる / ほじくる I got the feeling from WWWJDIC that the two hiragana are ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Is 結構くせ related to 結構人?

I recently came across the word 「結構くせ」. Haven't found any entries for it in the usual places (zokugo-dict, WWWJDIC, etc.) According to kotobank, 結構人 is a synonym for お人好し. Is 結構くせ the (negative) ...
1
vote
2answers
278 views

What's the difference between 済む, 終わる, 出来る and 上がる

I've seen all four used in the context of something being finished. What's the difference between them?
1
vote
1answer
80 views

遣{つか}う vs. 費{つい}やす

Recently I wanted to learn the equivalents to the common money-related verbs of English such as buy, pay, sell, and spend. I found two words for "spend" and would like to know what the difference is ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

分類{ぶんるい} / 種類{しゅるい} / 類い{たぐい} ~ “kind” / “sort” / “type”

I realized I didn't know the Japanese word for the concept which has three very interchangeable words: "kind", "sort", and "type". By looking in my usual resources such as WWWJDIC, English ...