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ずれる - 1) slip out of place, get out of position, shift, slide 2)"get out of touch with" or "off" when used of a person

I got curious about what the kanji of the word ずれる is because computers and smartphones don't display any candidates for it. Some google searching made it seem like there isn't one. This seemed absurd to me. How could such a common word not be assigned a character in the course of the hundreds of years that kanji were introduced into Japanese? Unless, it's a new word. But that seems hard to believe too.

So far, the best candidate is 滑. But, only the EDICT2 dictionary mentioned this possibility prefacing the definition with possibly written 滑れる. Unfortunately, looking ずれる and 滑 up in the 研究社新和英大辞典 and 漢字源dictionaries did not confirm anything.

So, is it true that there is no kanji for it? Or is there conclusive evidence that 滑 is in fact the right kanji?

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言海, a dictionary published in 1981 1891, says ずれる is a corrupted form of 摩るる【するる】, "to rub; to friction". I think this may explain why ずれる has no kanji. Words formed via sound change (such as ひょっとこ) don't necessarily have kanji.

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  • Thank you very much. Wouldn't have thought to look it up in an old dictionary, but I definitely will next time. – By137 May 18 '18 at 3:53
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There isn't one.

It's fairly often written in katakana (ズレる) so I thought it might have originated as slang and did a brief search on the etymology. The best I could come up with was that it emerged as an abbreviation of 外れる(はずれる)which seems like a reasonable hypothesis but it was not from any authoritative sources.

  • This is what I always thought. – istrasci May 11 '18 at 17:58

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