I am currently reading a short Japanese novel targeted at learners of intermediate levels, entitled 野菊の墓. In this novel, multiple times a character is named only by お増{ます}。Based on the below examples I believe that this designates a specific character, probably the family servant/maid but looking for it in either the jisho dictionary or the goo dictionary did not yield more results that the typical "increase, multiply" sense of 増す。

Examples (taken verbatim):




Is my understanding correct? What is the exact sense of お増? Is it a common word? Is it associated with a particular politeness level and/or era?

  • 1
  • 1
    Are you sure that the 「す」 was in the name? – l'électeur Jun 12 '17 at 13:54
  • So you think that 増す would be the maid's name? I hadn't really considered that possibility... – Urukann Jun 12 '17 at 13:55
  • You are right, it is お増{ます} not お増{ま}す, i'll edit the question – Urukann Jun 12 '17 at 13:56
  • 増 would be the part of the maid's first or family name, so お増 would be her nickname. In the case of 民子, someone may call her お民. – Yuuichi Tam Jun 12 '17 at 14:41

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.