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I've started reading my first Japanese book and the word 畸端検査官 keeps popping up. I know 検査官 means inspector, but I can't find a reference anywhere to 畸端.

Can anyone help?

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    Presumably it's a name, if it's attached to a title like that in the story.
    – Leebo
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 21:24
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    It could be, although I don't get the impression that it's referring to a specific person, more a group. Might be wrong...
    – NobleGuy
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 21:35
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    It's definitely a name. If you want to know how it's read (キハタ? I don't know!), look back for the first usage in the book; it probably has furigana.
    – mamster
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 0:24
  • No, no furigana... Naruto has an explanation below that makes sense as it's directly from the book I'm reading :)
    – NobleGuy
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 7:30

1 Answer 1

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I googled 畸端 and found that this question comes at the top :D Aside from this question, the word is used almost exclusively in グウィノール年代記. Is this what you're reading? 畸端 is clearly a made-up word. In the middle of the sample here, it explains its (supposed) definition in the story:

それまでメルは畸端検査官というのは、市場で肉や野菜の検査をするお役人のことだと思っていた。緑と赤のお仕着せを着た畸端検査官たちは市場に入ってくる荷の中から野菜や肉や卵を抜き取って調べ、《呪肉》が見つかったらその荷はすべて没収して焼き捨てることになっている。

畸 means "out-of-the-way" or "disabled", and 端 means "borderline" or "edge", so its basic intended meaning should be "abnormality", "deformation", "corruption", or something along these lines. But you may come up with a better translation if you keep reading, since they seem to have some secret roles. It's probably pronounced as きたん. 異端 (いたん, "heresy") is a much more common word that resembles this.

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  • Lovely, thank you! And yes, グウィノール年代記 is the book! I bought it in Tokyo a few years ago and thought I'd better give it a go. It's got a few other (as far as I can tell) made up words like 羽猿 and 竜鳥, but the meaning of those were fairly obvious :)
    – NobleGuy
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 7:29

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