What does the "marker" (?) やや書 used in Japanese-English dictionaries indicate?

In addition how would you pronounce the phrase when citing someone a definition from a dictionary? やや書{しょ}? やや書{かき}?

I cannot pinpoint any pattern in below examples and I can't find a definition of the phrase itself. Trying to devise its literal meaning "usually in writing" (?) does not really match the examples (why "insecure" would be marked as a written form?)

: shout [⦅やや書⦆ raise] a war cry.

[2] 疑わしい doubtful
: (不確実な) uncertain; (不安定な) unsteady, ⦅やや書⦆ insecure; (信用できない) unreliable.

: 〖少し〗a little, ⦅話⦆ a (little) bit; 【少しばかり】slightly; 【いくぶん】rather (!控えめにいってかえって意味を強める) , ⦅やや書⦆ somewhat (!rather より客観的な語) ; 【ある程度まで】to some extent.

さしおく 差し置く
: (意図的に無視する) ignore, (やや書) disregard; (そのままにしておく) leave.

1 Answer 1


For this sort of question, you should check the 凡例 of the dictionary.

The Wisdom E-J defines 話 and 書 like this:

 〔話〕   (話し言葉(spoken))
 〔書〕   (書き言葉(written))

The Wisdom J-E defines them like this:

 〔話〕   口語
 〔書〕   改まった語,文語

But I think the abbreviations must still come from 話し言葉 and 書き言葉, in any case.

So in this case, I think is a dictionary-specific abbreviation indicating 書き言葉 'written language'. They're suggesting that the English translation marked with やや書 is a bit more characteristic of written language than spoken.

  • To make it longer, I added a sub-question :)
    – macraf
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 0:27

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