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19

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 ...


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 ...


11

I think it means to vent the anger in the 8 compass directions. I.e. you are so angry that the effects reach every direction around you. Consider 四方八方. It refers to all sides or everywhere. I think 八つ refers to the 八方 part


11

In Chinese, this kanji (or hanzi) originally contains a notion of "returning" (both transitive and intransitive); for example, 回来 "to come back", 回家 "to go back home", etc. Although in Japan this kanji seems to mean more of "rotating" than "returning", in this case, the original meaning has been carried over into Japanese. So 回答 is about "returning an ...


10

I took a look at the book OP mentioned and following is a super-simplified summary of how "ン" was invented, as described in the book. I'm no historian nor linguist, so I can't guarantee this is true. There was no kanji for "ん/ン" at all in Man’yōgana (万葉仮名). This is partly because, in those days, the Chinese writing system also had no simple character for ...


9

There seems to be two prevailing explanations about this. ① 生 in 生前 is in fact 死, in Buddism In Japanese there is a word 往生【おうじょう】, which apparently means "to go alive" but actually means "to die". This is based on the idea of 輪廻転生【りんねてんせい】 (cycle of existence) in Buddism, and "往生" can be interpreted as "to go to the next existence / the second life." So ...


9

There is no clear-cut etymological explanation, but some think there is a connection. In A History of the Japanese Language (2010), Frellesvig says: The suffixes which attach to the infinitive [i.e. renyokei] are [...] transparently agglutinating and their use as suffixes seems to be younger [than suffixes attaching to the mizenkei, which Frellesvig ...


8

Henshall writes on p.130 of A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters: 艹 is plant 9. 央 is center 429 q.v., here acting phonetically to express bloom and possibly lending an idea of blocked off at the head from its assumed original meaning of person yoked at the neck. 426 originally meant a flower that blossomed but lacked seed, such a flower being ...


8

To answer the title question first, yes, it is. Roughly, I am going to say that it happens incidentally 90% of the time and intentionally the rest of the time. This comes from innocent ignorance 80-90% of the time as the English word "flea" is simply not known nearly as widely as the word "free" among the average people. The word 「フリー」(from "free") is ...


8

Something similar happened in English, where "you", a formerly polite form which contrasted with "thou", is now the common second person pronoun with no inherent politeness. It's a kind of semantic change called pejoration. In a society which values politeness, people will use a word B which sounds nicer/more polite than the usual word A. Once everybody ...


8

Please note that the nature of writing using Chinese script often makes it impossible to know how the word was originally pronounced. Generally the only real way of knowing is by having glosses written in kana. In Old Japanese, neither hiragana nor katakana were yet invented, though man'yoogana does indicate the pronunciation. That said, I can only find ...


8

The short answer is "because Japanese speakers will it to be that way." The pedagogical answer is that 払う operates on お金, not the thing you're paying for. This is exactly the same as in English. You don't "pay drinks." You pay for drinks. Drinks are not the direct object in English or Japanese. The money is the direct object, so you follow it with を. If ...


7

Most Ainu loanwords in regular use are names for plants/animals indigenous to northern Japan, such as reindeer (トナカイ) and sea otter (ラッコ). These loans are old enough that there ARE usually kanji that can be used for them: 馴鹿 (トナカイ, can also be read じゅんろく) 海獺 or 猟虎 (ラッコ) However, many plant/animal names are usually written in katakana (e.g. カバ for ...


7

Your hypothesis that カツ stems from cutlet seems correct. According to kotobank, カツ is the shortened form of カツレツ, i.e. cutlet. See here for its culinary history.


7

Put simply, the particle へ is derived from the noun 方{へ}. Bjarke Frellesvig provides a brief explanation in his book A History of the Japanese Language (page 132). … The noun pye "side, direction" was being grammaticalized as an allative case particle pye, but in the Old Japanese period had not yet acquired that status. As for pronunciation, sound ...


7

My dictionary 漢字源 lists as meanings {名} はな。はなぶさ。中央がくぼみ、芯を含んだような形をしたはな。→ 華 {形・名} うるわしい。すぐれている。ひいでた者。「英雄」「英明」。 & 4. [omitted] The literal meaning being related to a flower, the extended meaning being "lovely" or "outstanding" or "someone skillful". The words 英雄 "hero" and 英明 "intelligent" are listed under this extended meaning.


7

I'd like to add some more detail onto Zhen Lin's answer. My source is primarily Shogakukan's 1988 version of their Kokugo Dai Jiten Dictionary, Shinsou-ban (Revised edition). Morphology and Phonology Modern 出{で}来{き}る comes from older 出{で}来{く}る, comes from older 出{で}来{く}, comes from older 出{い}で来{く}. The oldest form is clearly a compound of 出{い}づ + 来{く}. ...


7

Much as described in the question comments by Yang Muye and blutorange, 1) all of these sumu verbs derive from Old Japanese in ways that make the kanji irrelevant to a discussion of etymology, and 2) all of the modern senses of sumu arise from an underlying idea of to settle. Interestingly, the English term to settle covers most of the same meanings as the ...


7

As noted in the question comments, the kanji 円 was originally 圓. The nutshell version of the article Yang Muye linked is that monks developed a shorthand version of 圓 that looked like a box with a vertical line through it: . Over time, the shape of the surrounding box changed, likely due to the same anatomical and mechanical processes that inform any change ...


7

After further research I can say that in fact, イギリス actually came from Portuguese and first appeared in the 日葡辞書【にっぽじしょ】 (Vocabulario da Lingoa de Iapam) compiled by a Jesuit Missionary in Nagasaki in 1603, the start of the Edo Period. It came from the Portuguese word inglês which would have been pronounced イグレス and after interactions with Great Britain, the ...


7

You can't ✗ "pay the drinks" ✗ 飲み物を払う in English either, even though you can ○ "pay the bill" ○ 勘定を払う ○ "pay the rent" ○ 家賃を払う ○ "pay attention" ○ 注意を払う In other words, 「〜を払う」 corresponds more closely to "to pay ~" than "to pay for ~", which should not be surprising considering that is the syntactic equivalent. As to why ...


6

The Japanese Wikipedia offers an explanation, unfortunately not backed by any reference: ギリシャあるいはギリシアという名称は、ラテン語名の Graecia (グラエキア)がポルトガル語で Grécia (グレスィア)となり、これが宣教師によって日本にもたらされ変容したとされる。 So it seems that the Latin name of Greece is Graecia became Grécia in Portuguese, which in turn became what it is in Japanese when (Portuguese?) missionaries visited.


6

The first が is not a subject particle. In combination with 「...う」 and/or 「まい」, it means "no matter", or "regardless of". Here is an excerpt from スーパー大辞林{だいじりん}: (4)どんな事柄{ことがら}でもかまわない,の意{い}を表{あらわ}す。「…うが」「…まいが」の形{かたち}をとる。「どうなろう―知{し}ったことではない」「行{い}こう―行{い}くまい―,君{きみ}の勝手{かって}だ」 The first example can be translated to: "No matter how it becomes, I do not give a ...


6

I just had a look in Shogakukan's Kokugo Dai Jiten Dictionary. The ポイ in ポイ捨て is pretty clearly the adverb ぽい(と). ぽい(と) in turn appears to be a variation from ぷい(と), itself a variation of ふい(と), related to adverb ふ(と). Onomatopoeitically, ふい and ふ even sound a bit like something rushing through, possibly related to verb 吹【ふ】く "to blow", and indeed, even ...


6

In the dictionary 字通【じつう】 (1996), we find: [3] よく温熟する、ならう、たずねる。 In addition, the dictionary 類聚名義抄【るいじゅみょうぎしょう】 (approx. 12th century) lists* the following meanings for 温: アタゝム・タツヌ・ウルフ・ツゝム・シル・アタゝカナリ・ウツクシ・ヤハラカナリ 尋【たず】ねる (or rather, タツヌ) is the second listed. Moving on now to Chinese sources, in 漢典, it is written: (2) 复习 [review] ...


6

Conjugation of べき べき, or rather べし (kanji 可し), is an auxiliary adjective* just like for example 熱い. However, it retains the classical conjugation of adjectives. 熱い had once been 熱【あつ】き, and there existed an additional form 熱【あつ】し. 熱き is used for modifying nouns (熱き炎), 熱し for ending sentences (炎は熱し). In the classical conjugation, there existed an あり-form ...


5

My assumption would be that neoguri is one way of romanizing the hangul 너구리, but that the pronunciation is closer to "noguri." Given the tendency of katakana to go with pronunciation, it would be ノグリー. Listen to the Korean here.


5

豆腐よう isn't so much a special kind of tofu, it's a dish made from tofu by adding a bunch of stuff (including 泡盛) and letting it grow a special mold. 島豆腐 and ジーマーミ豆腐 are special kinds of Okinawan tofu. :-) 豆腐よう is the Okinawan version of the Chinese dish 腐乳 that you can get at pretty much any Chinese supermarket. Wikipedia says it came to Okinawa from the ...


5

A couple of things to add: When you hear just カツ, it is usually indicative of pork cutlets ([豚]{とん}カツ). Any other types are listed explicitly with what they actually are. For example, chicken cutlets are チキンカツ, beef is ビーフカツ, etc. カレー is Japanese style curry, not to be confused with カリー which is Indian style curry. カツ丼 is the greatest food ever!



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