Besides the obvious 'snow', someone listed the name Yuki on a name website as also meaning happiness, blessing, or good fortune using the characters 幸き. Dictionaries list that 幸 can become こ / さき / さし / さっ / とも / ひろ / みゆき / ゆ / ゆき / よし. Yu and Yuki are listed at the end, but is it accurate to say that this name means happiness?
Does 'yuki' really mean happiness?
I feel like this is a loaded question, so let's break it down.
The character 幸 means "happiness".
If the name ゆき is written using this kanji, then it also means "happiness".
ゆき by itself does not necessarily mean anything—ゆ and き simply represent sounds.
- However, context could easily provide a meaning to those sounds, and ゆき as a word has several different meanings.
- If you knew someone named 'Yuki' who spelled it simply ゆき (or possibly ユキ), it might not have any meaning.
If you see someone's name written as 幸, you'd be wise not to assume it's read as ゆき (or anything else).
The question is asking about the word
yuki and its relation to the meaning
happiness. Kanji spellings do not always reflect the meaning of a word.
yuki in several monolingual dictionaries, we find other words pronounced
yuki, such as 裄 (some part of a kimono) or 斎木 (some tree used in rituals), but these do not seem to be related.
The word 幸 with the reading
luck (or products of the sea). This reading is closer to
yuki, but offers no explanation how we would get from
Now, checking a kanji dictionary for 幸, it lists the reading
miyuki as a kunyomi (Japanese) reading for the kanji; and elaborates on its meaning:
miyuki is a respectful expression referring to the emperor going outside or taking a trip. Furthermore, the dictionary attributes the kanji spelling to it being a metaphor for likening the emperor showing himself in public as an unexpected ― but fortunate ― happening.
miyuki seems to me to be a combination of the honoric prefix 御【mi】 and 行【yu】き (noun form of
yuku, to go). Checking a dictionary such as the 大辞泉, they seem to agree.
This also nicely separates the word into the two parts
yuki. So my assumption is that the reading
yuki derives from a shortening of
miyuki. In this case, I'd say it is related to happiness, but does not mean that.
As for personal names, if the parents give their child a name that is read with
yuki and spelled with
幸, there is a good chance they intend the meaning of
happiness and I guess in that sense it could be said to mean happiness.
I have found that sometimes parents are very creative with their use of kanji when naming children. You see a similar thing happen in the United States when people start getting creative with the spelling of names (like Aleks instead of Alex).
Jisho.org says the kanji means the following:
happiness, blessing, fortune.
Yu and Yuki are listed at the end, but is it accurate to say that this name means happiness?
I say that you are quite possibly right, but it may be difficult to know for sure without having talked to the parents. I would imagine that your understanding is correct though.