I was reading a joke:






I understand most of the joke except the end of the second line:


I see that おりません is used here and I don't understand why it is here. I checked the dictionary on my Mac for the word おる and it told me to look for おりる where I found 下りる, 降りる. After I read the meanings, I can't find anything that would make sense in this context.

Then I started to think that this is a typo and it should have been いません instead:


literally, "there does not exist a person who died".

Question: Is this a typo? If not, what is the meaning of おりません and how will the meaning change if I used いません?


2 Answers 2


In meaning,

「おる」=「いる」 and


So, there is no typo here as 「おる」 is a dictionary word. Think of it as a somewhat old-fashioned version of 「いる」.

The line in question is uttered by a villager, so one could say that 「おりません」 is being used as role language at least loosely.

「未だに死んだ人がおりません。」 means:

"No one has ever died (here)." or

"There is no one who has died (here)."

  • Might be worth mentioning that おる is still used in modern-day language in extremely formal situations.
    – Kurausukun
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 8:23

It's 居{お}る as in http://jisho.org/word/居る-1 .


would be translated to

There is no dead person.

  • Will it change the meaning of the sentence if I used いません here?
    – Sweeper
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 12:28
  • @Sweeper I think not. いる is also written 居る and have very similar meaning ( if any different )
    – Yuki Inoue
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 12:30
  • "There s no dead person." would not be such an accurate translation.
    – user4032
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 12:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .