4

当て字 is using the reading of kanji instead of its meaning; it is the reading applied to the kanji. I'm wondering if there is a word for the opposite/inverse: having the kanji applied to a reading.

Here's my use-case: In 大阪弁・関西弁 (and possibly some others), it is common to hear 『や』 in place of 『だ』. So often when writing something to my friends, if I need to write 『だけど』, I'll change it to 『やけど』. Furthering this, I intentionally enter the text as the 『火傷』, and my friends find it humourous...mostly.

So it's like a 熟字訓 used as the inverse-当て字 of plain kana that would not normally (or at all) have associated kanji.

Is there a name for this? Or would people just say it's 当て字?

5
  • 1
    +1 I find it humourous too. Feb 7 at 19:02
  • 参考までに、「誤変換」かもと検索してましたが、このはてなの質問に答えた人達によると「当て字」で合ってるみたいです Feb 7 at 19:28
  • 2
    I'm not sure how your example is different from 矢鱈 for やたら, which is an 当て字.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 7 at 21:20
  • @aguijonazo I guess the difference with 矢鱈 is that 火傷 is itself already gikujikun, which makes it kind of a double-layered modification, but it's still in the realm of ateji to me, since the basic idea is "kana which previously did not have kanji to write them have been assigned some kanji merely for the way the kanji can be read."
    – Leebo
    Feb 7 at 22:51
  • @Leebo - The only difference I can think of is people might associate 火傷 with its meaning more instantly than when they see the unusual sequence of 矢 and 鱈. But this happens with any meaningful word. You could write やけん in 博多弁 as 野犬 for a similar humorous effect. They are all 当て字.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 8 at 1:23

1 Answer 1

5

I am a little confused by your question, since 当て字 is already the opposite of 熟字訓, the former is reading Kanji by its sounds regardless of meaning, e.g. 寿司, the latter is the opposite, by its meaning regardless of sound, like 煙草 タバコ. These two are already the opposite of each other.

Your question seems to concern the fact sometimes we use Kanji to write words otherwise normally not written in Kanji, especially when that word is a result of sound changes, like the やけど you've mentioned.

I don't think there is a name for this, it's more like a meme thing, people do it because it creates a funny effect. Sometimes the word is replaced by Kanji without any changes, such as:

もう終わりだよこの国 => もう終わりだ横の国

Sometimes it's a result of contraction:

人柱お疲れ様 => 人柱おつ => 人柱乙

Sometimes it's like the ones you've mentioned:

だけど => やけど => 火傷

If you have to classify these, I'd say they all belong to 若者言葉, although it isn't "words usually in kana but written in Kanji", but all "meme languages". They can be anything, any contractions, any substitutions, any usage popularized among young people by any events that became a meme. You can find webpage dedicated to collecting such languages such as here: https://otokomaeken.com/column/2738/2

8
  • リンクありがとうございます。陰キャでおじさんな僕が最近の漫画を読む際には必要な知識です。でも「ヤけど」→「火傷」は別に流行語ではないのでは? Feb 7 at 19:54
  • I meant opposite in the "application", as I mentioned (kanji applied to kana instead of kana applied to kanji). I guess my question wasn't clear enough. I'll try to edit it if I can think of some better wording. Thanks for your answer!
    – istrasci
    Feb 7 at 20:11
  • @GuiImamura 確かに流行語でないけど、若者言葉だと言えるよね
    – dvx2718
    Feb 8 at 2:57
  • @istrasci You're welcome :)
    – dvx2718
    Feb 8 at 2:57
  • 1
    I think new slangy kanji usages such as おつ → 乙, わら(い) → 藁, サーバー → 鯖 and よろしく → 夜露死苦 can safely be categorized as ateji (you're borrowing kanji's reading ignoring their canonical meanings). "やけど → 火傷" is also an example of creative ateji.
    – naruto
    Feb 8 at 4:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .