New answers tagged etymology
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
Well, the pronunciation of kanji can be really irregular. In many cases the only thing we can do is to remember them one by one. I think the second explaination in @isayamag post is right. In http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BB%98%E5%96%AA%E7%A5%9E, 「付喪」自体は当て字で、正しくは「九十九」と書き、この九十九は「長い時間（九十九年）や経験」「多種多様な万物（九十九種類）」などを象徴… It says that 九十九 means so many ...
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 ...
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