I'm trying to figure out the proper way to translate "Town's End" (a play on my last name of "Townsend", like someone living at the end of town).

I've found the word for "town", which is: 町

I think the appropriate match for end would be 端, but I'm not sure.

But would it need の in between? Such as 端の町? Would that be correct? Is 端 the correct word for what I want to convey?

2 Answers 2


「[端]{はし}の[町]{まち}」 means "a town at the end (of something)", which is probably not what you are looking for.

「町の端」 means "one end of a town", which is the meaning I suppose you would want.

The 「の」 does not look good in a name, so you might just drop it and use a 「町端」, which might actually exist as a family name. It would probably be read まちはた instead of まちはし, though.

(In reality, however, your last name is either タウンゼンド or タウンゼント in Japanese.)

  • 4
    There is a kanji for の that is used in last names which means "of" or "this": 「之」. This is used in the family name 「竹之下{たけのした}」 for example. It could possibly be used here.
    – Ninj0r
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 17:09

非回答者 answer is very good, but I would just like to add 2 points:

  1. If using katakana please use タウンゼンド. Reading "bed" written as "ベット" makes me cringe(Double d is not natural in Japanese but it still can be represented and is not a Japanese word anyways).

  2. I will second "町の端" with "の" inside. "の" does look strange in a name, but otherwise I think it is appropriate. "の" is the best way to show posession.

  • 4
    There is an explanation for ベット, and it is not an error. Geminate devoicing from e.g. /dd/ → /tt/ typically occurs when there are other voiced obstruents in the same morpheme, so ベッド optionally becomes ベット (with no real distinction) but ヘッド generally does not become *ヘット. See Kohei Nishimura's thesis Lyman's Law in Loanwords or Shigeto Kawahara's subsequent research.
    – user1478
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 2:50
  • @snailboat Interesting info. I'll keep a look out for exceptions. Nice to know there is a reason, but still don't want to butcher words. Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 3:48
  • actually の used to be used in a lot of aristocratic names in times gone by, but i guess it indicated clan affiliation of a person. i think the 'small ヶ', which is used in many placenames such as 宝ヶ池 (and usually pronounced ga が there), is quite cute. 街ヶ端 (machi-ga-hashi まちがはし) sounds sort of authentic to me
    – flow
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 13:51

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