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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 ...


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 ...


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

So you're referring to ネーム in this sense, right? ネーム was originally jargon used in the Japanese (non-manga) publishing industry, where it means 'caption' (of figures, tables, etc.), a short text describing the essential point of a figure/table. Then it gained a broader sense, and it may also refer to any "floating" small fragment of text that has to be ...


9

朝鮮 comes from the Joseon dynasty, which is the longest-lasting Korean dynasty, whose rule lasted from the late 14th century all the way to the late 19th century. The use of this name can be chronicled in Chinese records from as early as 100 BC. After the fall of the Joseon dynasty, the Koreans changed their country name to 大韓帝国 "Daehan Jeguk," or the ...


9

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 ...


9

"Come true" isn't the literal translation of 叶{かな}う. The word かなう means "to fit; match; accord", in this sense in accord with 叶's meaning in Classical Chinese. So we are practically saying 願いが叶う "my wish matches it" as if a fixed phrase corresponds to "my wish comes true". かなう once had tons of kanji transcriptions (see below), but most of them were culled ...


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

It's [熟字訓]{じゅくじくん}. Excerpt from Wiktionary: A Japanese word whose kanji spelling conveys the meaning based on the individual characters, but the reading is not directly related to the spellling. For example, 大 (“big”, usually read ō in kun'yomi compounds) and 人 (“person”, usually read hito in kun'yomi compounds) combine to form 大人, meaning “adult” but ...


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

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 ...


8

金 in 金曜日 refers to Venus (金星). In fact, "Fri" in "Friday" also refers to Venus, also known as Frige's star. Both are almost certainly derived from the Roman names for the days of the week.


8

Yes, many Japanese wonder why, too. The truth is that it's an obsolete usage of 天地 (except in this idiom!). 日本国語大辞典 (kind of the OED of Japanese) apparently has a definition: てん‐ち 【天地】 (...) (6)(─する)上下をひっくりかえすこと。 *滑稽本・早変胸機関〔1810〕「裾廻しは天地(テンチ)するだよ」 that is, 天地 once meant for "to turn upside down", at least attested on 1810 in Edo ...


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

To tell the truth, this question was so unexpected for me who am not familiar with colloquial English that I couldn't figure out what it means if it weren't for an English speaker's guidance. Maybe I still don't grasp what you're asking, but there are so many reasons it couldn't be with ン. "Roman" in Japanese In English, Roman is an adjective derives ...


7

I don't have any clue to decide whether it's a parallel evolution or not, but I guess it's from Chinese, considering the phrase is attested in a famous (1st century BC) Classical Chinese literature, namely Shiji, and the fact all Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese shares the similar expressions. 大行不顧細謹,大禮不辭小讓。如今人方為刀俎,我為魚肉,何辭為。 The most powerful ...


7

良い can be read both いい and よい. 良{よ}い is more formal than いい. But they are very similar words and they sometimes can safely exchangeable. For example, the following words are the same and both mean "good boy/girl". いい子{こ} 良{よ}い子{こ} Sometimes, いい cannot replace with 良い in casual language. For instance, in Japanese version of Facebook you call "Like" button, ...


7

It comes from Classical Japanese idiomatic phrase とにかくに, analyzed into と ("some way") + に ("in") + かく ("that way; such a way") + に ("in"), and as a whole meant for "by some means or other" or "by any means". The kanji you may often see (兎に角) is ateji.


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 ...


6

Since no-one else has tried to answer, I'll write up a few thoughts in the hope of attracting a more knowledgeable person, Somebody Is Wrong On The Internet style. I do not think there is any single, universally accepted name for this form. Sometimes you see the term "ri adverb" (in Japanese, "り副詞"), but this often encompasses 3-mora adverbs too (yahari as ...


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 ...


6

I'm afraid I don't have any authoritative reference, but have you checked the Wikipedia article 婦人? 大正デモクラシーの時期、婦人という語は、普通選挙権要求運動とも連動し、斬新な響きを持った。「婦人公論」に代表されるように、「意識の高い成人女性」との響きさえあった。 婦人という語感が、「年輩女性」「既婚女性」との意味合いを持つようになり、次第に使われなくなった。 現代の日本語においてより一般化した呼称が「女性」である。「婦人」の語はやや古めかしいイメージを持つ古語になりつつある。 So 婦人 was a stylish word back in the early 20th ...


6

That is because the cursive script of the kanji 「川」 kind of looks like 「つ」. It should look even more like 「ツ」.


5

The basic meaning of the 4-character idiom 森羅万象【しんらばんしょう】, sometimes also しんらばんぞう, しんらまんしょう, or しんらまんぞう, is all things in the universe. Etymology Let us examine 森羅 and 万象 separately. 森羅 樹木が茂り連なる意から (大辞泉) 森 refers to a forest or many trees. 羅【ら】, as in the word 羅列【られつ】, means 網【あみ】net and in extension also 連【つら】なる be in a line. The compound 森羅 ...


5

In the first place, -がい is the rendaku form of an independent noun かい, which is defined under デジタル大辞泉 section of the Kotobank page you cited (I don't understand why 大辞林 第三版 section is missing this definition for かい). This かい (from archaic かひ) is, according to 小学館's 日本語源大辞典 which I own, a nominalization of archaic verb かふ "to substitute, compensate" ...



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