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It comes from the Classical honorific verb 「[賜]{たま}ふ」, which means "to give (from one in a higher position to one in the lower)". The Modern counterpart is 「お[与]{あた}えになる」 or 「[下]{くだ}さる」. The 「ふ」 has become 「う」 over time as you probably know. This verb can be used as an honorific subsidiary verb following another verb. The Modern counterparts are ...


It comes from the verb 給【たま】う via ウ音便. Other examples: 問【と】う → 問うた, しまう → しもうた, 言【い】う → 言【ゆ】うた. This is a feature of medieval Japanese and persists in western dialects of modern Japanese; in standard Japanese it is only found in fossilised forms.

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