Dictionary definition:

1 程度・価値・等級・序列などが低いこと。標準より劣っていること。下等。した。「中の下の成績」⇔上 (じょう) 。

2 書物や文の章段などで、二つまたは三つに分けたものの最後のもの。「下の巻」⇔上 (じょう) 。

I think is not read かん, but まき. Sometimes, a word alone requires 訓読み, sometimes 音読み, because reasons. Please see the comment section.

There's already a question here about how to read when it is used for book volumes, whose reading corresponds to the second definition above.

There's also 下{げ}の下{げ}, which I think is literally "the lowest of the low" (cf. Trainspotting). Definition 1.

Is there any other occasion where one simply has to read it as ? Can I use it as some sort of adjective, e.g. 下の奴だ, like the example in definition 1?

Sorry for yet another newbie question, but お教えください!

TIL: Just realized that 中の下 is read ちゅうのげ, even when seems to be screaming for 訓読み instead. Lovely.

  • 2
    「下の巻」... I think 巻 is read かん -- 「まき」だと思います・・・ 「下の[巻]{まき}」「2の[巻]{まき}」 (くっついてたら「[下巻]{げかん}」「[二巻]{にかん}」ですが) – Chocolate Jun 8 '18 at 2:27
  • そうなんですかぁ…すぐ直しに行きます。ありがとうございました! – Yeti Ape Jun 8 '18 at 3:19
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    @Chocolate: I usually hear "Jou no Kan" or "Ge no Kan" for 上の巻/下の巻 like this one when 巻 refers to volume of a book. Not sure about Maki, but I guess it could probably be read as such in a different context. – nhahtdh Jun 8 '18 at 3:49
  • I feel you have already answered your question yourself. Are there any particular reasons you think those dictionary definitions are not enough? – naruto Jun 8 '18 at 5:06
  • Really my concern is, "What if there was something missing up there in the dictionary that was in fact rather common?" This issue is valid, as it could be easily evidenced by the above discussion about 巻. Originally, I took goo辞書's word for it, since they listed 巻を開{ひら}く under the reading かん. Yet, it turned out that it should be read まき (actually what I would expect normally). Plus, in my question, 中{ちゅう}の下 has a reading that took me by surprise, ちゅう. These sorts of exception happen so often with kanji that I sometimes have the urge to find some sort of validation before I move on. – Yeti Ape Jun 8 '18 at 5:28

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