1

We know that 真っ赤 means "deep red," but how did it come to mean 'downright', as in 真っ赤な嘘 (outright lie)?

1

真っ赤 doesn't mean deep red, it's an emphatic expression of being red.

It comes form suffix ma and reduplicated adjectives.

  1. ma aka aka --> makkakka --> makka (まっかっか is still a word)
  2. ma kuro kuro --> makkuro

Edit: Sorry, my answer was irrelevant to OP's question.

| improve this answer | |
  • This reduplication theory is really interesting! Is there somewhere I can read more? I'm curious how /massao/ fits in. – snailplane Feb 17 '15 at 18:23

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.