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24

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 ...


23

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 ...


21

A few years ago I began to create a list. It is incomplete, but you can build from here. 湖 -> 水海 京 -> 宮処 暁(あかとき) -> 明時 曙 -> 明け仄 喉 -> 飲門 銅 -> 赤金 胡床 -> 足座 羹 -> 熱物 鐙 -> 足踏み 雷(いかずち) -> 厳(いか)つ霊(ち) 泉 -> 出づ水 営む -> 暇無(いと)む 猪(いのしし) -> 猪(い)の猪(しし) 妹 -> 妹(いも)人 甍 -> 苛処 驢 -> 兎馬 鬣(うながみ) -> 項(うな)髪 頷く -> 項(うな)突く 厩 -> 馬屋 狼 -> 大神 概 -> 大旨 公 -> 大宅 幼い -> 長(おさ)無い 一昨日(おとつい) -> ...


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 ...


18

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", ...


18

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." ...


17

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 ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


14

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


14

ローマ字 is ローマ plus 字, not Roman plus 字. ローマ is a Japanese noun, derived from a noun (from Latin "Roma", meaning Rome), while Roman is an English adjective, derived from an adjective (from Latin "Romanus", meaning "of Rome, Roman"). Since ローマ字 does not come from the English word "Roman", it has no ン sound. (Although ローマ is probably not directly from ...


14

"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 ...


13

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 ...


12

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 ...


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 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, ...


11

I don't have a full answer here (at least not yet), but I do want to note that the kanji here are definitely not any kind of ateji - they are actually the exact opposite, a gikun (義訓 - 'meaning reading'), since 山 has no reading わさ, and 葵 has no reading び. That means the etymology of the word わさび itself is unrelated to the etymology of the kanji わさび, and ...


11

~とも (in the sense you seem to be talking about) is a rather archaic sentence-final particle which is used for strongly asserting something that the listener may not be so sure about. That makes it similar to the far more colloquial particle よ, but it's somewhat stronger and more decisive than よ. 「いいとも」, for instance, would usually come in the context where A ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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.)


10

The original form is definitely よい, and that's what you'll find in old texts. As often happens with common words, the pronunciation was simplified a little in its most common form, the Rentaikei form (which is the dictionary form), and became ええ in western dialects (Kansai-ben) and いい in the Tokyo dialect, which serves the basis for Standard Japanese. ...



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