As I see it right now they both mean: to carve;  to engrave, to chisel;  to notch.

Is there any difference between them?

1 Answer 1


「[掘]{ほ}る」 actually does not mean "to carve", "to engrave" or "to chisel". Instead, it means "to dig (up)".

「[穴]{あな}を掘る」 = "to dig a hole"

「いもを掘る」 = "to dig up potatoes"

You are probably thinking of 「[彫]{ほ}る」, which means what you stated.

「メダルに[名前]{なま}を彫る」 = "to engrave one's name on a medal"

「[仏像]{ぶつぞう}を彫る」 = "to carve a Buddha"

Traditionally, 「彫る」 has another important meaning which is "to tattoo".

「[刻]{きざ}む」 can mean "to carve", "to engrave", etc., but its primary meaning is "to cut into pieces", "to chop", etc.

「刻みキャベツ」 = "shredded cabbage"

  • 1
    I'm sorry. you are right, i accidentaly write wrote kanji in there and i meant 彫る. i have changed the questiong and thanks for your answer.
    – kippix
    Mar 7, 2015 at 7:01

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