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12 votes
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Why does 安否 ("peaceful" + "negate") combine to mean "safety"?

It is more like or not. The following dictionary entry explicitly gives the usage: 否 2 …か…でないか。「安否・可否・合否・採否・賛否・実否・真否・正否・成否・存否・諾否・適否・当否・認否・能否・良否」 安否=safe or not, 可否=possible or not, 合否=(about exams) ...
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10 votes
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Why was the kanji 安 chosen for "cheap"?

When you look at the dictionary meaning of 安 in Japanese, you can see that while it does mean cheap (安い/やすい) it can also mean peaceful. I'd also like to note that many Japanese words have two readings,...
  • 124
7 votes
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Different JLPT level for the same word, in hiragana or in kanji

Yes, I'd say this rating is more or less accurate. 何 is usually read as なに・なん, and is one of the most basic words. Therefore, it's not a surprise for it to be N5. 方, read as かた or ほう, means a few ...
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3 votes
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Origin of 「セキ」 when used in game of go 碁

The 関 entry in Kotobank is backed by a version of the 日本国語大辞典【にほんこくごだいじてん】 that doesn't include as much detail as my local copy, which includes this bit about the etymology: (動詞【どうし】「せく(塞)」の名詞化【めいしか】...
2 votes
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Is 板 ever read as はん when used as a suffix/prefix?

As a recent suffix meaning "~ board/forum", according to this survey and my personal experience, the majority of people read 板 as いた, but many read it as ばん, too. I probably read 野球板 as ...
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