3

Does anyone know the origin of the verb 茶化す, which translates as 'to tease, to make fun of, to kid'? Is is somehow related to "breaking teacups"?

  • 1
    Forget "tea". In other words, forget the kanji. – l'électeur Jul 30 '17 at 9:08
  • 「茶化」は、当て字ですね。。。 – Chocolate Jul 30 '17 at 9:33
  • OKけど, もし当て字だったら、原点はまだ分かりませんよ – Colin Stark Jul 30 '17 at 12:09
1

Here is an article on the etymology of 茶化す.

Excerpts from the main line of the article are translated like:

"The keyword to understand "茶化す" is a China's copper trumpeter called Charmera or チャルメラ: Portuguese tyaramela (etymology is calamus meaning reed in Latin). The origin of oboe, one of wind instruments. Although it was used for the accompaniment music of street performing, it seemed that the strange tone that had not been heard in Japan until then sounded irresponsible for the audience. "茶{ちゃ} tea" in "茶化す" is mere an ateji ([当て字]{あてじ}, a Chinese character used as a phonetic symbol rather than for its meaning) and it has been used also in a word like "ちゃらんぽらん" that expresses a irresponsible feeling.

Here you can hear the sound of Chalmera that every Japanese knows.

Here is another article on 茶化す. I quote the whole explanation as follows.

[茶化す]
冗談{じょうだん}のようにしてからかう、冷{ひ}やかす、誤魔化{ごまか}すことをいう。「茶化」は当{あ}て字{じ}で、「ふざける」の意{い}の「ちゃる。ちゃり(戯(ザレ)の転{てん})」からとする説{せつ}、「茶」に語尾{ごび}「かす」を付{つ}けて動詞{どうし}にしたとする説{せつ}などがある。ちなみに、馬鹿{ばか}にする、冷{ひ}やかすことを「茶(ちゃ)にする」という。なお、「おちゃらかす」は、「おひゃらかす」と「ちゃかす」が合{あ}わさってできた語{ご}とされる。

  • What a wonderful etymology! お疲れ様です! – Colin Stark Jul 31 '17 at 0:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.