Questions tagged [false-etymology]

Common but often wrong beliefs about the origin of words

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Why is 閉ざす the "-す form" of 閉じる when the classical form was kami nidan 閉づ?

This has really confused me for a long time. Considering the fact that the Classical Japanese form of the verb 閉じる is 閉づ, the expected reflex of 閉ざす should be *閉だす; 閉じる is actually etymologically 閉ぢる ...
LittleWhole's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

Portuguese origin of particle -ね

The particle -ね matches somehow the Portuguese 'né' in form and use (as a request for agreement). Since there is proven historical contact between Portugal and Japan and proven influx of Portuguese ...
Quora Feans's user avatar
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Can 中村 mean "villager" (person)? [closed]

Does or can 中村 mean "villager" (person) or only "middle village" (place name)? Would alternate Kanji make a difference in meaning, i.e., 中邑 仲村 仲邑 ? Thank you.
hanna.banana's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

先生 character etymology

先 looks like a teacher holding a pen, and 生 looks like a person sitting cross-legged with a pen, learning. maybe the symbols together mean someone who instructs someone else. Was this originally a ...
Itsuki Ookami's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers

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 ...
rebuuilt's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers

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 ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
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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 ...
Flonne's user avatar
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-1 votes
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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 ...
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

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 ...
M Palmer's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 ...
ajsmart's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 ...
blutorange's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers

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, ...
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
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