Nushi can be written using katakana or kanji in Japanese. I wanted to understand the exact meaning of this. And can it be used as someone's name?

I named my daughter nushi (It means sweet in Hindi) but when I called her name in the crowd I fetched the attention of some people from Japan. Hence, I was curious to know if it has some meaning in Japanese. I searched for dictionary and I found 2 meanings of it. Hence, I asked here.

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    My favourite meaning would be "long thin strip of dried sea-ear or paper attached to a gift". Some context on why you are asking the question and why a dictionary isn't working for you would help. May 5, 2019 at 14:40
  • I heard the different meaning of nushi in different places. Hence, I'm confused. Eg Head of the house, God etc. May 5, 2019 at 14:43
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    As it is in English, it is very common in Japanese for a word to have a variety of different meanings. The intended meaning is usually determined by context. It's not really clear what you want to know and why. For example, are you wondering if there's an explanation for why the same word can mean both 'head of house' and 'guardian spirit', or is it something else that interest you? Please edit your question to add more detail. May 5, 2019 at 14:52
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    long thin strip of dried sea-ear or paper attached to a gift <- それ、「ぬし」(nushi) じゃなくて「のし」(noshi) では・・・?
    – chocolate
    May 5, 2019 at 15:01
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    @Chocolate Jisho has 熨斗 pronounced as ぬし and のし. I guess it wouldn't be the first time Jisho has been wrong :-( May 5, 2019 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


Nushi (主 in kanji, ぬし in hiragana) means only one thing in Japanese: "boss/master (especially of animals/fish)". See this question. It's almost never used as a Japanese person name.

  • Isn't that also sometimes used as a pronoun for you?
    – Ringil
    May 5, 2019 at 19:54
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    @Ringil Ah yes, Raoh uses it, but it's fairly rare. I'm sure someone who heard ぬし on the street wouldn't recall this meaning.
    – naruto
    May 5, 2019 at 19:59

(ぬし nushi) can also mean owner. Maybe the people thought they had dropped something in the street and you were asking who's the owner.

It is also used to designate a person whom which you do not know the name and you are talking to. But in this case, an o is prepended: お主 (おぬし onushi).

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