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I am on ch.82, pg.27 of Yotsuba&! manga. enter image description here Source : http://raw.senmanga.com/Yotsubato!/82/27

What does bubble in the first panel mean. To be specific,

きっと名のある牛だよ!

主なんじゃね!?

I understand the above lines as,

This is definitely some named/famous cattle (meat)

Isn't this rumoured/famous (cattle meat) ?

I interpreted 「主」as "subject (of a rumour)" from the list of meanings (source : jisho)

  1. head (of a household, etc.); leader; master
  2. owner; proprietor; proprietress
  3. subject (of a rumour, etc.); doer (of a deed)
  4. guardian spirit (e.g. long-resident beast, usu. with mystical powers); long-time resident (or employee, etc.)
  5. husband

Am I correct here ? Is 「名のある」a relative clause ? And is the usage similar to what's described here ?

Also, I feel like my translation of 「主なんじゃね!?」 feels somehow incorrect, especially 「主」.

  • Isn't うし/ぬし also a pun? – melboiko Apr 25 '17 at 15:03
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    btw 名のある + 主 reminds me of a line from Princess Mononoke. It may be a reference to it. – broccoli forest Apr 26 '17 at 12:52
  • @broccoliforest I just checked. There's a line さぞかし名のある山の主と見受けたが. Source – vadasambar Apr 27 '17 at 12:16
  • @bro Yeah, it reminded me of もののけ姫 too. Maybe an 牛 version of [乙事主]{おっことぬし}? – Chocolate Apr 29 '17 at 13:18
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    @cho 本サイトでも "bro" で届くんですねすごい(白目) – broccoli forest Apr 29 '17 at 13:22
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きっと名{な}のある牛{うし}だよ!
主{ぬし}なんじゃね!?

I understand the above lines as,
This is definitely some named/famous cattle (meat)

I think it is a good tranlation.

Isn't this rumoured/famous (cattle meat) ?
Am I correct here ?

No, I don't think so.

主{ぬし}なんじゃね!?   

The phrase could be said:

主{ぬし}なのじゃないか!?

The 「主」 is cattle and also a boss. In this case the phrase could be translated as "Isn't this the boss cattle!?"

Is 「名{な}のある」a relative clause ?

Yes, it is a relative clause and the usage is similar to what's described "here."

If you write 「名{な}のある」 all in kanji, it will be as 「名{な}の有{あ}る」, which has the same meaning 「有名{ゆうめい}な」. 「有名{ゆうめい}な」 is an adjective meaning "famous."

enter image description here


The difference between 「主{ぬし}」 and 「ボス」 in Japanese culture

I'm going to explain how you can properly use 「主{ぬし}」 and 「ボス」, which are the title of the creature having supreme power over its group or herd in Japanese language.

On the page of a comics posted by the questioner, there is a word 「牛{うし}」 and a 「主{ぬし}」. By these words I imagined a phrase : 「牛{うし}の群{む}れの主{ぬし}」 "the leader of a herd of cattle". Inspired by this phrase I posted a photograph showing 「猿{さる}の群{む}れの主{ぬし}」 "the leader of a troop of monkeys".

In Japanese language, you could call the leader of a herd of cattle a 「主{ぬし}」, but you couldn't call the leader of a troop of monkeys a 「主{ぬし}」, you should call it a 「ボス」 instead. I made a white lie in the monkeys' photograph because of the explanation I'm giving now.

The word 「ボス」 is used as the title of the leader when the leader rules its crowd/herd/troop by giving its power or threat.

In contrast with 「ボス」, 「主{ぬし}」 rules over its group with something like dignity derived from such as its exceptional size of the body or longevity unlike threatening power, or in other word his existence itself awes the group and makes him a leader of them.

In addition, 「ボス」 needs a group, but a group does not necessarily need for 「主{ぬし}」. 「主{ぬし}」 could consist only of himself.

「主{ぬし}」 may sometimes could be interpreted even as an owner of the specific nature such as a mountain, a forest, etc. not as a leader of a group.

「主{ぬし}」 may be employed to call even distinguished fish in a river, a lake, a pond or a swamp.

For example, there is an expression, "there is a 主{ぬし} of the swamp". In this expression we call a certain fish 「主{ぬし}」; the fish is such as a carp or catfish of a big size beyond our imagination dwelling in the swamp for a long long time. Of course, it is common that there are similar fish of the normal size other than this enormously big carp or catfish, but the certain carp or the catfish could be called " the 主{ぬし} of the swamp" even if it dwells there only by itself. In this case, I could imagine that the big fish is called 「主{ぬし}」 not as the leader of a group, but as the owner of the swamp by implication.

enter image description here

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    Just making sure, there's a typo in the question (should be 「主なんじゃね」 and not 「主んじゃね!?」). Is the meaning still the same? – siikamiika Apr 25 '17 at 14:51
  • siikamiika >typo ... (should be 「主なんじゃね」) Then it is cattle not a man. Thank you! – mackygoo Apr 25 '17 at 15:02
  • I will accept this answer since it answers my question more directly. Thanks ! – vadasambar Apr 26 '17 at 12:13
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名のある is, yes, "has a name" or "named" as opposed to nameless characters in a novel, game, etc. Probably it's okay to translate it simply as "famous", but it may not reflect Yotsuba's the funny and unique word choice here.

主 roughly means "lord" or "master", but has several readings depending on what it actually refers to:

  • あるじ: master of a household; master as opposed to a slave; master of a pet
  • しゅ: Christian Lord (God), often heard in a prayer
  • ぬし: the strongest, largest or boss-like creature/animal/fish that has dwelt for a long time in a dungeon, pond, river, etc.

ぬし is mainly used in fishing and fantasy contexts. ぬし rarely refers to human beings in modern Japanese, although it's possible to call someone ぬし jokingly. Here Yotsuba said ぬし, which sounds a bit funny to me — being a ぬし means being the strongest, largest or oldest, but usually it doesn't mean being delicious :-)

  • Of course, that was a very Yotsuba-like thing to say :D – siikamiika Apr 25 '17 at 15:09
  • @siikamiika I totally agree :D – naruto Apr 25 '17 at 15:11
  • I'm confused... Yotsuba is the little girl, right? It's not her speaking on the picture I think? – kuchitsu Apr 25 '17 at 16:02
  • @kuchitsu At first I thought it was Yanda because he was talking with Yousuke on the previous page, but would he really say something like that? The whole panel is also "detached" from the rest of the panels, it's a bit smaller than them, sort of making it like a side comment. But this is all speculation – siikamiika Apr 25 '17 at 16:34
  • I'm quite positive that the lines in question are not utter by Yotsuba. Sometimes she uses language atypical of her age ,yes, but with this one I think there's too many speech features uncharacteristic of her. Another clue may be that, in the last panel, she is shown to be eating quietly with the kids apart from the "noisy grown-ups", likely having no part in the lively conversation going on around her. – goldbrick Apr 26 '17 at 1:35

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