On Denshi Jisho looking up "おとこのこ" brings up two results:

男の子 and 男のコ

Edit: (child not boy)

I read the first one literally as "Male [possesive] child" or "Male's child" (or maybe の here is not a particle, just part of the word). The second one is strange. They have the same definition. Why do we have a Katakana コ here?


Why in the world Denshi Jisho has both of those options, I don't know. If it was anywhere else, I'd just say that the katakana version is someone writing 男の子 somewhat creatively. In any case, they mean the same thing. However, の here is -not- possessive, it's a kind of adnominal thing (though it is a particle) - the phrase means 'male child' or 'boy'. You can use の both for possession and for description - for description, の is often interchangeable with である.

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  • 3
    It seems that the katakana version was added to EDICT by Paul Blay in 2007 with the comments "I get the impression that 男のコ tends to refer to a somewhat older age range than 男の子" and "399,000 yahoo.co.jp hits". He added 女のコ at the same time, saying "2,100,000 yahoo.co.jp hits. Ditto previous comment as well". – snailcar Dec 10 '13 at 0:50
  • That would definitely be something that would be interesting to look into, if they actually are a bit different. – Sjiveru Dec 10 '13 at 16:58

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