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I am wondering about the way to write そそっかしい in kanji, and if this is possible.
I've found that the な-adjective 粗忽{そこつ}, a word with very similar if not identical meaning, can in less common cases be read 粗忽{そそ} as well -- yet my google searches do not seem to like 粗忽っかしい{そそっかしい} at all!

Still, since the meanings of these words are so much alike, I can't help but be suspicious. Of course, I'm aware that そそっかしい is normally written in hiragana. But I am still curious about a connection with kanji, so if anyone on here can enlighten me, I will be very happy.

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2 Answers 2

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This kotobank.jp link says that『日本国語大辞典』refers to a kanji version of「そそっかしい」as「麁相かしい」, and gives a quote from the novel (section) 式亭三馬『浮世風呂・2・下』:

私が一体麁相かしい性で

Here's a page from『浮世風呂』(taken from 人文学オーペンデータ共同利用センター) with that quote highlighted:

enter image description here

This is my transcription:

enter image description here

If you believe that this furigana says「[麁相]{そそっ}か」(refer to a hentaigana chart), and trust the authority of『日本国語大辞典』, then「そそっかしい」can be written as「麁相かしい」.

In the『日本国語大辞典』entry, the only quote including「そそっかしい」which has kanji is「麁相かしい」.

Additionally, according to this dictionary,「そそっかしい」is actually just a variant and is derived from「そそかしい」with the addition of the sokuon「っ」. Under「そそかしい」, more kanji variants have been recorded, including

  • 『和英語林集成』(1867年初版): 「[粗粗]{そそ}かしい」
  • 夏目漱石『明暗』: 「...彼を[忽卒]{そそか}しく」

Thanks to @By137 for providing this info


尾崎紅葉『金色夜叉』is another novel which possibly uses that reading:

enter image description here

My transcription:

[不相變麁相]{あひかはらずそ〻ツ}かしいね


In both cases, it looks like「ツ」(or its very close hentaigana equivalent「𛁪」, U+1B06A) is used for what is now「っ」, which may have been common orthographic practice at that time (these two were written around 1800-1900).

Of course, there might be other kanji representations of「そそっかしい」used around this era; many of these texts are not digitised (or properly checked after digitisation) so they remain unsearchable on the web.

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  • Disclaimer: I don't have a copy of『日本国語大辞典』to confirm what the dictionary actually says. Also,「麁相かしい」appears twice more on these two pages.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 27, 2019 at 17:10
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    @KentaroTomono okay, I added another novel which looks like it uses that reading. I don't think I can find any more.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 28, 2019 at 0:00
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    Feel free to put this info in your answer. I'll delete mine if you do.
    – By137
    Jan 28, 2019 at 8:10
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    Thank you for your answer, this is seriously fascinating stuff! I'd never even heard of hentaigana before, so you've provided me with something new to dive in as well. :-) I do agree it's suitable to accept this answer over the first one.
    – Noord
    Jan 28, 2019 at 9:23
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    @droooze Looks good to me except that the 送り仮名 in the 夏目漱石 quote was しく only 忽卒{そそか}しく. Glad to help.
    – By137
    Jan 28, 2019 at 10:16
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I am wondering about the way to write そそっかしい in kanji, and if this is possible. I've found that the な-adjective 粗忽そこつ, a word with very similar if not identical meaning, can in less common cases be read 粗忽そそ as well -- yet my google searches do not seem to like 粗忽そそっかしい at all!

Your question was nice because I have never paid due attention to this word in Kanji. So I checked.

The above Yuraika.com, which tells us the etymological origin of a word, says,

「そそっかしい」の漢字表記{かんじひょうき}は不明{ふめい}

It is unclear how we express そそっかしい in Kanji.

Although as you found out 粗忽 as a Kanji version 「そそっかしい」、it is yet pronounced as 「そこつ」 but not 「そそっかしい」( Dictionaries say only semantically same not as a pronunciation. )

Conclusion

There is no Kanji for そそっかしい。

Thank you.

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  • I didn't downvote, and I hope you don't delete your answer (maybe just modify it a bit...There is no Kanji for そそっかしい。 > A *kanji* representation for そそっかしい is exceedingly rare). I think the reference which says 「そそっかしい」の漢字表記は不明 shows that the vast majority of people haven't seen the kanji for it. The kanji representation isn't even recorded as a valid way of writing the word「そそっかしい」in most dictionaries.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 28, 2019 at 9:44
  • @droooze ah, it's alright. And congrats. But as you say, I bet almost 99.99999% people today have never used the Kanji, even nor have ever seen. Even あいかわらず by Ozaki is not literally Japanese Kanji but rather Chinese Kanji. haha.
    – user7644
    Jan 28, 2019 at 11:40

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