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27

(Especially in the ancient times,) there were/are bound morphemes (morphemes that cannot be used in isolation as a word) that end with the vowel a. The a at the end of these morphemes cannot appear at a word boundary. These forms are known as 露出形. saka- (as in 酒) ama- (as in 雨) puna- (as in 船) ma- (as in 目) When they are used as the first ...


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 ...


22

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 ...


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", ...


17

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

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 ...


17

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." ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


13

"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 ...


12

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, ...


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 ...


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

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

I also think it's maybe a stylistic thing. In 大阪, there is an area called 森の宮【もりのみや】. Around the area, I've seen it written any of the following ways: 森の宮 森ノ宮 森之宮 森宮 I've also noticed this for places that have a 「が」in them like 関ヶ原. Sometimes it can be が、ヶ、ケ、or not there at all. Not that this necessarily applies to 関ヶ原, but I've definitely seen the ...


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 ...


10

俗語辞書(ぞくごじしょ) (slang dictionary) says that that word was formed because of the radio program called 社会の窓(しゃかいのまど) around 1948-1960, which tried expose anything about society/community. And people start to called zip fasteners 社会の窓, because it is a hidden place for men. Also when zip fasteners are opened in any place other than the toilet, they called it ...


10

That's just ateji「当て字」, but they used like that because 滅茶滅茶 related with 滅茶苦茶/無茶苦茶 (muchakucha) and base word is 無茶, There is some saying that 無茶 supposed to mean お客さんにお茶を出さない。 (No o-cha?) (Don't provide tea to customer, which is unreasonable just like 無茶苦茶. But meaning from 当て字 are not suppose to be used, so above is wrong approach. There is also ...


10

Let me say a word about the secondary part of the question: Any thoughts on why most Japanese people * don't know the origin of the word sake are also appreciated. A simple answer is because understanding the etymology requires study and research and most Japanese people are not linguists. Ask an average English speaker what the etymological ...


10

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" ...


10

Actually, there were verbs ending in some of the syllables you listed, but they have changed to different forms in modern Japanese. ず Most verbs ending in ず were サ変 verbs; they became regularised as 〜じる verbs, e.g. 感じる、生じる、命じる etc. Note that these examples are all derived from Chinese words which originally had nasal endings. Sometimes these also show up ...


10

You are making a big assumption which turns out to be false. That is, you are assuming that Word W1 which belongs to part-of-speech P in language L1 will always be translated to another word W2 of the same part-of-speech P in language L2. This turns out to be clearly false. For example, before is a preposition in English, but 前 is a noun in Japanese. ...


10

父 and 乳 cannot be differentiated by pronunciation (including accentation). While the word titi "father" is attested in Old Japanese (8th century), titi "breasts" is not extant until the 17th century. However, it is more complicated than that. titi "breasts" is a reduplication of ti "breasts" which is extant in OJ. Also, titi "father" seems to be a ...



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