The word 大忙{おおいそが}し is classified as a noun or a na-adjective.

If I analyze it correctly, the word 大忙し consists of the prefix (接頭語) "大" and the i-adjective stem of "忙しい." In addition, there is no such i-adjective as "大忙しい."

Out of curiosity, I'd like to ask if anyone knows other compound words that end with an i-adjective stem and are only used as a noun or a na-adjective (its i-adjective form doesn't exist).


Many adjective stems work like a standalone noun or an element of a compound, for example:

  • 丸い - 丸太 - 赤丸 - 丸
  • 悪い - 悪者 - 性悪 - ワル
  • 黒い - 黒子 - 中黒 - 黒
  • 長い - 長靴 - 気長
  • 軽い - 軽業 - 手軽
  • 辛い - 辛口 - 激辛
  • 厚い - 厚着 - 肉厚
  • 安い - 安物 - 株安
  • 生臭い - 生臭坊主; 有難い - 有難迷惑; 面白い - 面白サイト
  • 短い - 手短; ヤバい - 激ヤバ
  • 古い - お古; めでたい - おめでた

If you are looking for words like these, the list would be very long. However, 大忙し is different from these in that 忙し seems to be working like a noun along with okurigana. And I think such words are rare.

  • 柔らかい - 柔らか頭 - お手柔らか
    (But 柔らか may be a distinct na-adjective)
  • 嬉しい - 嬉し泣き; 苦しい - 苦し紛れ
    (But the stems do not come at the end of a compound)
  • 愛しい - 愛し(の); 懐かしい - 懐かし(の); 麗しい - 麗し(の)
    (But these are not compounds)

I could think of no word that is perfectly like 大忙し...

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