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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 ...


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 ...


9

From an interview with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: ──まず伺いたいんですが、「にんじゃりばんばん」ってどういう意味なんでしょうか? 私も中田(ヤスタカ)さんに「どういう意味なんですか?」って聞いたんですけど、「俺にもわからない」って言ってました(笑)。だから正解はたぶん誰にもわかんないと思います。 My quick translation: Q. First I want to ask, what does "にんじゃりばんばん" mean? A. I also asked Mr. Nakata (Nakata Yasutaka, the person who wrote and produced the song) what it means ...


9

It's just a coincidence and an example of a false cognate. The etymology is covered here in Japanese. Basically, the term "名" has been around for a pretty long time with the same meaning as 名前. It's thought that the 前 part is an honorific that was added some time later. Early uses of the full word 名前 can be seen in use in relatively modern times. The ...


8

First, let me comment on your three examples: です ⇔ であります We discussed です before. According to 大辞林, there are several theories, but we don't know its etymology for sure. This is one of the three theories it lists, though. I've read that でございます may be more likely, but I never read an explanation why, so I won't make that assertion here. じゃない ⇔ ...


8

As you correctly pointed out, many 一段 verbs have an older 四段 version. Many are formed by combining them with 在る, and 得(う)る, and 為(す)る, whose classical sentence-ending ("dictionary" or 終止形) form is only す. This book, available online, explains it very well. (Unless you are a professional linguists, the book does a good job at making sense of and shedding ...


8

As the characters clearly suggest, 大西洋 simply refers to the big Western ocean. Not much confusion there. 太平洋, however, is an adaptation of the English "Pacific" Ocean. 太平 is a word in its own right that means roughly this: "peaceful" or "tranquil," or "pacific," if you will. According to the page linked at the bottom it had previously been known as 大東海. It ...


7

A simple search reveals the answer. I will offer a brief translation. http://gogen-allguide.com/si/syousetsu.html Basically in China there were regular reports of the goings on and ramblings of the general public that were compiled and presented to leaders. These were referred to as 小説. Through common use the meaning evolved to refer to "worthless" or ...


7

As written on gogen allguide: Apparently it's from the Buddhist 火車{かしゃ} piece of mythology. The story goes that those who were rotten in their lifetimes would be carried into the flames of hell on a cart driven by a petty demon. This suffering was then later metaphorically applied to financial difficulties. A possible alternate explanation is that it's ...


7

The Online Kanji Etymology Dictionary has some rather terse notes on how these two meanings came to be. A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters (Henshall) describes its history as: Once written showing a boat 舟, a person 卩, and a hand 又. [...] The early meaning is known to have been work, and some scholars feel that it meant literally bend down in ...


7

It's Kansai dialect. I don't think it's official 敬語 recognized by 文科省. It's 尊敬語. 食べはる ≒ 食べられる, 召し上がる [来]{き}はる ≒ [来]{こ}られる, いらっしゃる 先生が来はった。≒ 先生が来られた, 先生がいらっしゃった I think ~~はる sounds less polite/formal than the standard 尊敬語. I think it comes from なさる (--> なはる --> はる ?)


6

敷き布団, or "shikibuton" refers to the bottom part of a futon, which traditionally has two parts: the part you lie on and the part that you cover it with, or basically the mattress and the blanket (or duvet if you want to go there). The terms 敷き布団 and 掛け布団 are derived from their purposes. For example, 敷{し}く means to spread or lay something out, so the ...


6

This one can be beautifully summarized by a simple quote from wiktionary: 語源[編集] どう、いたし・まし・て<「どう(どのように、何を)」+「いたす(「する」の謙譲語)」+「ます(丁寧語を造る助動詞)」+「て(反問的用法の終助詞)」)。 「何を、したというわけでもありませんよ(だから、気になさらないでください)」の意 It's fairly self explanatory, but to give a breakdown in english: どう = どのように いたす = する in humble language ます is the polite verb ending, but in te ...


6

They are conjugational endings from (sh)i-Adjectives: We can derive verbs from adjectives by adding あり: 赤し -> 赤く+あり -> 赤かり And conjugate them further: 赤かれ+ば 赤けれ+ど(も) 赤からず (negation) ... This conjugational suffix got reanalyzed as a word on its own, yielding けれども, which was shortened to けれど, けども, and けど. Even けれ by itself was used in the meaning ...


6

It is a tempting identification, but the 〜ぬ suffix is inexplicable. In fact, there are only two n-stem verbs in Old Japanese – 死ぬ and 去【い】ぬ – plus one auxiliary (the perfective 〜ぬ), all of which are conjecturally related. Linguistic coincidences are not unheard of: one well-known example concerns the word "dog" in English and in Mbabaram. For what it's ...


6

凄 = 冫 + 妻  The radical 冫 is named にすい and it means "ice". 妻 means "wife". 凄 means "ice-cold", "bleak", "mournful", "frigid", etc., so it is a kanji with highly negative meanings. You stated that the kanji meant something completely different in Chinese but it DOES NOT. Your statement appears to be based on a comparison between the positive modern ...


5

Is there any way to understand べき in a similar manner? I am afraid not. べき is the 連体形 form of inflectable suffix べし in Classical Japanese, and in Classical Japanese, 連体形 form was used as an abstract noun by itself in general. According to Daijisen, the widely accepted origin of べし is adverb うべし in Classical Japanese, which meant something similar to ...


5

There is no hidden meaning in the 「見」 part of those verbs -- none. First, not that I think you are mistaken, I want to make sure that we are not discussing the kanji 「見」 here. Instead, we are discussing the 連用形 of the verb 「見る」, which only happens to be 「見」. 連用形 is the form of the verb that comes first in [複合動詞]{ふくごうどうし} , two-verb compound verbs, which ...


5

おてもと does refer to chopsticks but it is not "another word for chopsticks." That is, you won't say おてもとを取ってください nor 新しいおてもとを買ってこようかな. According to the source article that Chocolate's Wikipedia article mentions, the word came from a reference to "お手もと箸" (chopsticks for your personal use) in contrast to "お取り箸", which refers to chopsticks for shared dishes that ...


5

「[割]{わ}る」 here means "to dilute". See meaning #II-4 in http://kotobank.jp/jeword/%E5%89%B2%E3%82%8B?dic=pje3&oid=SPJE04759100 「[泡盛]{あわもり}のコーヒー割り」 = "awamori diluted with coffee" Other common terms containing 「割り」: ウイスキーのソーダ割り/[水]{みず}割り [焼酎]{しょうちゅう}のウーロン[茶]{ちゃ}割り


5

コーヒー割り “split / divided coffee” No, it is コーヒー modifying 割り, not the other way around. Japanese is left-branching in an almost completely consistent way. Keeping that meaning of 割る, it would be “split / divided by/with coffee”. As others have explained, 割る here means dilute, by which you reach the expected meaning.


4

There are quite a few old (17th century) letters on this page which clearly use the digraph ゟ as ligature of よ and り (see picture, third character from bottom of fifth line from left: 家来之者方ゟ可申). As Zhen Lin points out, it is not too far a stretch of your imagination that ゟ comes from joining よ and り in vertical writing. All that is really lost is the loop of ...


4

To the best of my knowledge there are none. Infixes are really pretty rare crosslinguistically, so it's not that surprising. English's expletive ones are pretty unusual even by English's standards, and as far as I know they're not particularly productive (I can't think of too many words you're actually allowed to use them with).


4

坊 in Japanese is fairly uncommon on its own, but it means something like 'kid' or 'boy' most of the time (originally it was 'monk', and it's shifted a bit semantically). 寝坊 is a somewhat playful term for someone who has trouble getting up in the morning, and as a する verb means 'sleep late' or 'oversleep'. 朝寝坊する is basically the same thing. 坊's modern ...


4

泊 was constructed phonetically(形声). The components are 水+白. There are a couple reasons why a character might be coined phonetically. It's possible that the word was already spoken by Chinese people, and when someone decided he wanted to write it down, he picked a symbolic radical and character that had a similar sound and combined them to coin a new word. ...


4

Snailplane-san is right. In Yedo era there were two words indicating multiple number: 倍 and [層倍]{そうばい}. A single word 倍 means two times and a single word 層倍 does one time. 2倍 means 3 times and 2層倍 is two times. In Meiji era there comes European mathematics and the above-mentioned way to use of 倍 and 層倍 was banned. Today we use 2倍 as two times. 3倍 means ...


4

Not being of Chinese origin does not necessarily imply being ateji (in the sense of only borrowing a kanji's sound with no or hardly any respect to its meaning). 文化、文明、民族、思想 are (according to the Japanese wikipedia) 和製漢語 as well, but do they qualify as ateji? Also 大根 (広辞苑). Conversely, there are words of Chinese origin where each character is used for its ...


4

As you suggested, by adding 見【み】 in 見殺し the implication is that you're standing by and watching it happen (read: not intervening). For 見捨てる【みすてる】 it's more along the lines of "get out of my sight" in English—someone is being cast out. Since the focus is on etymology and not simply defining things, however, let's take a look at others in this family: ...


4

見殺し might be similar to 萌え殺し, 飼い殺し, 褒め殺し, 棄て殺し. I think it means 見ることによって、人を殺す, that is, 見る=殺す. 見捨てる might be similar to 見限る, 見切る and 見放す. Maybe, the 見 in these words more or less contains a kind of “passive” or “inactive” feeling, something like 面倒を見ていられないから、しかたなくやめる. As for the etymology, my hypothesis is 見 might mean “to experience” here. It seems that ...


4

I didn't know of 泡盛 until I looked it up just now in Wikipedia but I think 〜割り is often used when you dilute a drink (probably alcoholic like 泡盛)with something else. The one I am most familiar with is ウイスキー水割り, which is whiskey diluted with iced water, often ordered by salary-men in hostess/entertainment clubs/old-fashioned Karaoke bars. In your case it ...



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