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28

A few years ago I began to create a list. It is incomplete, but you can build from here. 湖 → 水海【みずうみ】 京 → 宮処【みやこ】 暁【あかとき】 → 明時 曙 → 明け仄 喉 → 飲門【のみと】 銅 → 赤金【あかがね】 胡床 → 足座【あぐら】 羹 → 熱物【あつもの】 鐙 → 足踏み【あぶみ】 雷【いかずち】 → 厳【いか】つ霊【ち】 泉 → 出【い】づ水【み】 営む → 暇無【いとな】む 猪【いのしし】 → 猪【い】の獣【しし】, 猪【い】の肉【しし】 妹 → 妹【いも】人【うと】 (common hito shift) 甍 → 苛処【いらか】 驢 → 兎馬【うさぎうま】 鬣【うながみ】 → ...


25

It is false. ありがとう came from adjective ありがたい, which was ありがたし in classical Japanese and dates back much earlier than any loanwords from Portuguese appeared in Japanese. Word ありがたし appeared in Makura no Sōshi (1002), although I hope that someone with access to large dictionaries can post earlier references. Loadwords from Portuguese in Japanese started ...


25

The source for this dual meaning already exists in Chinese. 革 is originally a pictograph of a stretched hide that is turned into leather. As a noun it meant just "leather", but as a verb it also meant "stretching something flabby and making it taut", which then was extended figuratively into "making something old new" and from there "renewal". Thus came all ...


22

ローマ字 is ローマ plus 字【じ】. It's a noun+noun compound, just like 漢字【かんじ】 or アメリカ人【じん】. It is not the English adjective Roman plus 字, so there's no reason for an ン to be there. Writing romanji is a common beginner's mistake. There isn't really any linguistic significance to it, and you should avoid making this mistake yourself. The Japanese place name ...


21

I think to answer your question it needs to be broken into two parts, namely "what is です's etymology?" and "where is です used?". Usage You will see です used in two ways: As the polite form of the copula だ. In this case, it has the meaning "to be" and acts mostly like a verb, in that it inflects. 彼{かれ}はお医者{いしゃ}さんです。 "He is a doctor." ...


21

In short, that is because "island" is not the only meaning of 「島/しま/シマ」. Besides "island", it can mean "settlement", "arable land by a river", "isolated area", "territory", "turf", "sandbank", etc. Even each section of a supermarket or any sizable store is called 「シマ」. So, it does not have to be the sea water that surrounds a 「島/しま/シマ」. 「[福島]{ふくしま}」 was ...


19

According to 語源由来辞典 ( http://gogen-allguide.com/o/omoshiroi.html ), 「面白い」 is originated from 「面白し」. 「面」 used to mean "a sight/view" (the source says the front of eyes) and 「白い」 used to mean "bright and clear." Then 「面白し」 later came to mean "a light/bright sight/view" and then later "a beautiful sight/view". It further came to mean "fun" or "comfortable", ...


19

"Tomorrow" is said in three different ways in Standard Japanese. In the order of formality, those are: みょうにち、あす and あした. (In kanji, all three are written as 「明日」.) あした is by far the most common pronunciation for everyday speech among friends, family, neighbors, etc. あす is a little more formal than あした. It is used in more official communication than ...


18

Say what? Putting aside the fact that this sounds like a whitewashed description of sexual assault, at what point in history was this "practice" so common that it was given a name? I don't know when it started, but the word originally comes from [呼ばう]{よばう} and is more commonly written as [夜這い]{よばい}. It is an old Japanese custom that was common up until ...


18

It has two main usages: As an abbreviation of the counter word 個/箇. More often it has a further word after it and it's read か. In this case it's sometimes written as ヵ or even か so the reading is more obvious. Examples: 一ヶ月(いっかげつ) 二ヶ国語 三ヶ所 Sometimes it's used alone just like 個 is (and it's read こ too), perhaps as shorthand. I've rarely seen people do ...


17

It's not a wholly Japanese word. It's a shortening of [空]{から} ('empty') and オーケストラ. So, since at least part of it needs to be written with katakana, the whole word is written with katakana. (Switching between the two within one word typically only happens in slang verbs like サボる.)


17

The concept is from Chinese. In Chinese, 風 was principally "wind", but wind (and by extension changes in temperature) was also believed to be the source of various aliments to the physical body. The Japanese word kaze originally only meant "wind". The sense "(sickness) cold" was influenced by Chinese. Note though that it originally was not limited to the ...


16

The short answer is: No. There isn't a single authoritative source that can tell you where each and every Kanji comes from, since the complete etymology of some Kanji remains in controversy. This is actually not at all different than the state of the etymology (= study of origin) of English words. The longer answer is more hopeful, though: there are some ...


15

分 isn't really the "minute's kanji", although that is one of its meanings. I believe the meaning of "part" came first though, and it is used for "minute" in the sense that a minute is a unit or part of time. According to this source, the 分 from 自分 means the same thing as the 分 from from 本分, representing one's capacity/ability, and historically was used to ...


15

It comes from the Greek word xylon, which means wood. The Greek word xylon is pronounced "ksilon", so the Japanese transcription is faithful to the original Greek pronunciation, rather than the English corruption of the word. See the answer to this question for the reason why "x" is pronounced "z" at the beginning of English words. As for the origin of ...


15

もしもし is used to call for someone’s attention. Although it is often used on the phone, the use is not limited to phone calls. もしもし is a repetition of もし, which is also used to call for an attention. もし is a variation of 申し (もうし), which was used in the same way in old time. 申し definitely predates telephones, and I guess that both もし and もしもし for asking for ...


15

There was a word, 木色【きいろ】 "the colour of trees", recorded in the Vocabulário da Língua do Japão. But actually, 黄【き】 on its own already means "yellow". 木 and 黄 are most likely not etymologically related. We know that 木 had a type-2 (乙類) /ki/ in Old Japanese. If we knew that 黄 had a type-1 (甲類) /ki/, then we could definitively say that the two are ...


15

In this case, 「[近]{ちか}い」 and 「[遠]{とお}い」 express temporal intervals and not spatial distances -- "at shorter intervals" and "at longer intervals", respectively. 「[尿]{にょう}が近い」 means "having the tendency of urinating frequently". 「尿が遠い」 means the opposite of that -- "not having to pee very often". We also say 「トイレが近い/遠い」 to mean the same thing.


15

I looked up in my etymology dictionary (小学館's 日本語源大辞典) :) The answer goes like this: つくも was originally a name of a kind of plant (modern standard name: フトイ; English name is softstem bulrush or great bulrush according to Wikipedia). A compound word つくもがみ < つくも + かみ "disheveled white hair (especially of old women)" was coined, because of its ...


14

ロハ. This word is colloquial and I think mostly extinct now, but it means "free [as in beer]" and derives from the kanji 只, which is one way to write the word ただ, which means (among other things) "free".


14

Original word is from "Diagram" ダイヤグラム, which is a 外来語.


13

It's a repetition mark or くの字点 (for its similarity to the character く, as you noted). い ろ 〳 〵 の 注 文 It's only used in vertical text, and repeats over two or more characters, which for your examples results in ひいひいと and いろいろの注文. There is also a single-kana repetition mark ゝ (which is the kana equivalent of the kanji repetition mark ...


13

Any word read in on'yomi in Japanese and using the Sinic hanja reading in Korean is probably ultimately attributable to Middle Chinese, unless evidence can be found of an independent coinage somewhere on the Japanese archipelago or the Korean peninsula. Terms like the ones below are likely borrowings from Middle or later Korean, rather than Chinese. We can ...


12

According to 大辞林, one of the meanings of 一倍 is as follows: ある数量を二つ合わせた数量。二倍。倍。 The first example it gives includes 人一倍, so you're right that 人一倍 is the combination of 人 and 一倍. The surprising part is that 一倍 means 二倍! As Wikipedia explains, for much of the history of Japan, 倍 was a suffix indicating a number of times in addition to one. In other ...


12

It comes from two words: 仏{ほとけ} (hotoke, Buddha) and 様{さま} (an honorific suffix). さま is of course applied to many names towards which a large degree of deference is to be shown (gods, royalty, etc.). But perhaps you're wondering about the origin of 仏{ほとけ}? That's a bit more complicated. According to the 大辞泉 dictionary, the word ほとけ originally came from a ...


12

Interesting question. The 日本国語大辞典 says that だらしない appears to be an inversion of しだらない, quite possibly a self-conscious thing like せるき for きせる (the Edo-period book Ukiyoburo explicitly claims this). The roots of しだらない are murkier. しだら has negative connotations on its own, and may come from Buddhist jargon, the mimetic しどろ, or somewhere else. But if しだら is ...


12

It is 和製英語. Sometime around the 1920s, employees at 東京電燈会社 created a device which consisted of a plug and outlet. This was called コンセントプラグ "concentric plug". Outlets without the plugs are now referred to as コンセント. Needless to say, English "concentric" does not make much sense.


11

This is a great question. I searched the Iwanami mathematical dictionary 『岩波数学辞典』 and Sasahara's 当て字 dictionary, 『当て字・当て読み 漢字表現辞典』, and did not find a definitive answer. Here's what I did find, though: The word 函数 was invented in China, not Japan. The characters were chosen for phonetic value as well as meaning. It's possible that "box that numbers go into" ...


11

There are also several old and common words which may have come from Korean, but of course, unlike words that are easily recognized as Korean in origin (such as 両班 Yangban or 温突 ondol), these words would probably forever remain in controversy: 寺 (てら) may have come from the Korean 절 (jeol). The Koujien dictionary also states the Pali word thera (old, ...



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