Questions tagged [false-etymology]

Common but often wrong beliefs about the origin of words

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85 views

Do ふえる and へる have a common etymology?

I was reviewing my Anki cards and it said that 減少 and 増加 are antonyms. Now, for extra practice, I try to give at least one kunyomi reading to each kanji. Then it occured to me that ふえる and へる sounded ...
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168 views

Is あらまあ linked to Malay “alamak”, and which came first?

A popular theory claims that that the Japanese expression あらまあ is directly related to the Malay alamak (pronounced more or less identically, since the "k" is just a glottal stop), with speculation ...
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517 views

Did my teacher make this etymology for もしもし up?

I was reading this question, and realized that I had been told something outlandishly different. To be clear, what I was told didn't change the usage of もしもし to be something different. I was told ...
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1answer
130 views

Reading of 管 as in “かん” vs “くだ” and its meaning regarding those two readings

こんにちは。 After reading jisho, here's some of the information that I found: 管 (kun: くだ on: カン) Interestingly, if you search the details, jisho lists 管 read as 【カン】 and 【かん】, even though the ...
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1answer
185 views

Could ベビーカー be derived from “Baby carriage”?

Most etymologies I've come across for "ベビーカー" assume that it's wasei eigo based on a combination of "baby" (ベビー) and "car" (the "カー" part of "マイカー"). For example, the Japanese edition of Wikipedia ...
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1answer
149 views

Verbs Which Change Form but not Meaning

I have noticed that there are a number of verbs in Japanese which have common alternative forms, especially potential form, but these forms have identical meanings. One of these is 焼く, which appears ...
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291 views

Are 済む・澄む・住む cognate?

Which of these words are cognates (share a common etymology)? 住【す】む ("live") (rarely 棲む or 栖む) 澄【す】む ("clear") (rarely 清む) 済【す】む ("end") According gogen allguide and several dictionaries such as the ...
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527 views

Is “フリーマーケット” sometimes assumed to be derived from “Free”?

Is the term "フリーマーケット" sometimes assumed to be derived from, or meaning, "Free market", as opposed to "Flea market"? (That is, having a false etymology) There is a phrase "Free market" in English, ...