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15

Pre-masu form (aka masu-stem, verb stem) has an important grammatical function; it (sometimes) works as a noun! So おすわり is sort of a "noun form" of すわる. Plain nouns are sometimes used as commands also in English, e.g., "Order!" "Attention!" Regarding the prefix お, note that not all words that have it are honorific words. I don't know who firstly used お座り, ...


10

According to the ja.wikipedia page on GKBR, it can be ゴキブリ as well as: ガクガクブルブル - 恐怖で震えるさまを表す擬態語。 So it'd be "GaKu BuRu," onomatopoeia that represents fearful trembling. It's some 2ch slang, of course. Here also is an entry on the nicovideo dictionary


8

It's from English "gap". She is referring to the large difference of an otter's face between when it's not eating and when it's eating. I guess she regards the former face as "handsome/cool" and the latter face as "relaxed and cute, although goofy in a sense". ブサイク is normally a negative word, but it's not always negative at least to some young girls... ...


8

The Japanese Wikipedia has an entry for 益虫 which links to the English Beneficial insects, while 害虫 links to Pest. However, unlike the English term it does look like 益虫 include not only insects (昆虫) but also other small animals: 益虫(えきちゅう、英: Beneficial insects)とは、何らかの形で人間の生活に役に立つ、昆虫など小動物のことを指していう言葉である。 "Beneficial insects(?)" refers the the various ...


7

I haven't seen そばかす used for animals. In this case, possible expressions include 「ぶち模様の犬」「顔にぶちのある犬」「まだら模様の犬」「ぶち毛の犬」「ぶち犬」.


6

I think the "ギャップ" is used as more of a colloquial usage than dictionary usage. I found the link : "かわうそファンが6年かけて発見!可愛いすぎる4つのポイント" I borrow the different sentence how "ギャップ" is used from the site. The excerpt is 個人的にはアクリル板をカリカリする仕草がツボです。かわうそのやんちゃさが良く出ています…! しかも、可愛いだけではないのがかわうそのすごいところ!水中をカッコよく泳いだり、時には野性味たっぷりに魚にかぶりついたり。さっきまで、あんなに可愛くしていたくせに…!でも、...


6

Yes, the everyday word in modern Japanese is カエル. The other word is now basically an archaic synonym appearing in traditional poetry, the proverb you mention, and so forth. They weren't always treated as synonyms, though; if you'd like to learn more about the history of the two words and the difference in meaning they originally had, you might find this ...


6

@A.Ellett in the comments points to the best explanation I've seen so far: this answer to the question, 「食肉目とネコ目、どっちが正しい言い方ですか?」 Ultimately, this use of ネコ in ネコ目【もく】 (literally, "cat order") as a label for order Carnivora, rather than the previous 食肉目【しょくにくもく】 label (literally, "eats-meat order") as a direct translation of Carnivora, appears to be a ...


5

If you look at 漢字, then 蛸 is by far the most common option. This is confirmed by the frequency data in the BCCWJ (Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese, via http://nlb.ninjal.ac.jp): タコ  676 results 蛸   129 results ダコ  32 results 章魚  10 results 鮹   2 results 鱆   0 results タコ is still a lot more popular than any 漢字 version. (But that's to ...


4

Roughly speaking, an animal bigger than a human being is "big". As for St. Bernard and kangaroos, both 匹 and 頭 are fine. We usually use 頭 for lions, but using 匹 for a baby lion is fine. In certain scientific contexts, 頭 is preferred regardless of the size.


4

きつね (foxes) are regarded sacred animals in Shintoism, being servants of the god of harvests ([稲荷]{いなり}神). (source: martle.net) (The sign on the 鳥居 (Shinto archway) says 稲荷大神.) According to legend, a fox's favourite food is 油揚げ (deep-fried tofu slices). Stripes of 油揚げ are what makes きつねうどん きつねうどん. (By the way, 油揚げ can also be sliced up and filled with 酢飯 (...


4

If the kanji for that word is not part of the list of joyo kanji, you should probably go for the kana equivalent. The word is already sort of done for you in this sense. The ones that you're already familiar with, like 魚, 鳥, 馬, 牛, etc. are all common, and you were able to come up with them pretty easily. Something like 欅 though... could you read that? No? ...


4

Part of the variance, and the confusion, arises from the fact that this word is not native to Japanese -- this was originally a borrowing from Ainu. The Ainu term for salmon is variously sak ipe, sak ibe, shak embe, depending on dialect, and apparently both the s- and sh- beginnings were borrowed into Japanese. Modern Hokkaido Ainu seems to use sak ipe, ...


4

百足 is an ancient Chinese colloquial name for a sort of arthropod. It can be traced to the 6th century document Book of Wei, which includes the passage 百足之蟲,至死不僵,以扶之者眾也 -> "A worm with a hundred feet does not go stiff upon death, since it has many support". The phrase has since found its way into common Chinese idiom in a slightly altered form. The term 百足 ...


3

In my experience, while 蛙{かえる} is very common, and often written using kana alone, I have never heard 蛙{かわず} in an everyday conversation. I have not found many sources but this answer taken from here seems to sum it up quite well : 「かえる」は日常語として「かわず」は歌語として、言い分けられてきた。 Meaning that indeed, 蛙{かわず} is only used for stylistic purposes nowadays.


2

I think we usually say like... 犬が(ワンワン・キャンキャン etc.)吠える・鳴く 猫が(ニャーニャー etc.)鳴く・(ゴロゴロ)[喉]{のど}を鳴らす 鳥が(ピーピー・チュンチュン etc.)鳴く・さえずる (+ maybe 歌う?) ライオンが吠える・[雄叫]{おたけ}びをあげる 狼が(ワオーンと)吠える・遠吠え(を)する 馬が(ヒヒーンと)いななく・鳴く 象が(パオーンと)鳴く etc... Is さえずる purely for birds? Yes, I think so... and you'd use it for pleasant/cute/lovely voices of birds. For example, you might say ...


2

According to the German book "Der Tanuki", たぬきうどん (Tanuki-udon) were invented during a food shortage related to the Second World War. The proper ingredients of tempura udon were too expensive for many customers but the taste of just the fried batter could be had quite cheaply so tempura-udon was served without the filling. This was jokingly explained as the ...


2

I think it could be '[動物]{どうぶつ}の[鳴]{な}き[声]{ごえ}'. There are words for chirp and carol (さえずり), barks ([吠]{ほ}えごえ),etc. but as a collective term for the sound of animals, it is the only phrase I know of. As for the '動物語', it is what we would likely come up with as a coined word for 'animal language', when we are anthropomorphizing animals playfully. In fact, ...


2

First question: Yes, it's treated that way once personified. Second question: No. For example, 2つのラクダ means "a camel with 2 humps". However, you could say ラクダ2つ if camels are commodity and you recognize them as a kind of vehicles. Counter for animals is enough with 匹. Third question: Yes, and as for robots, you would use 体 as long as you recognize them as ...


2

Basically, we don't say "an animal name + 子" like 牛子, オオカミ子 as the meaning of a child of animals, we say "an animal name + の子" or "子 + an animal name" like 牛の子 and 子牛 as the meaning of that. However オオカミの子 can mean "child raised by wolves". I think this is because it became a novel and manga.


2

キキー or ウキウキ/ウキー. Lots of other pages, too, including lots of other sounds, too.


1

イカ is used more frequently. いか is Japanese style, cute and childish. イカ is standard and scientific.


1

There is indeed a prefix 子, which appears to be quite productive, i.e. for most animals you can simply prepend 子 to the name of an animal to get a word for this animal's young, e.g. 子犬 koinu pup 子猫 koneko kitten 子鹿 kojika fawn 子牛 koushi calf 子山羊 koyagi kid (Actually, I wish it were this simple in English.) However, for wolves オオカミの子 seems to be more ...


1

http://www.geocities.jp/holmyow/mukade.html This document seems saying the use of 百足 is at least as old as in the 10th century. So if this research is correct, it shouldn't be considered as a calque from the western languages. (But I'm not sure about the reliability of this document.)


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