Uzai is in there too


The sixth edition of the Kōjien (広辞苑), the modern Japanese dictionary of choice for me and apparently most of Japan too, was released on the 11th of January. Iwanami's campaign slogan: "ことばには、意味がある" -- "Words have meanings". (Cough cough pillow words cough.) Here are some of the new words that made it in:

  • Ikemen (いけ面) -- Originally from gay subculture, this word literally means "[man with an] attractive face", "cool-looking guy". I think the -men part is also understood by some people to refer to, well, "men" -- it's usually written in katakana, permitting that ambiguity; the Kōjien has squelched it by using kanji.
  • Kangoshi (看護師) -- This word means "nurse", and is a non-gender-specific replacement for kangofu (看護婦, "[female] nurse") and kangoshi (看護士, "[male] nurse"). This change was officially approved by the government only five years ago.
  • Raburabu (ラブラブ) -- An ideophonic doubling of the English word "love", raburabu describes couples still deep in the honeymoon stage of their relationship.
  • Gengoronteki tenkai (言語論的転回) -- The "linguistic turn", which I didn't know the word for in English until just now.
  • Sei dōitsusei shōgai (性同一性障害) -- "Gender Identity Disorder", linguistically notable for its two distinct uses of sei, the first to mean "gender" and the second to mean "-ness" (attached to dōitsu, "identical").

Also exciting: more example sentences from post-Edo authors! At the bottom of this page you can see quotes from Roka, Sōseki, Ōgai, and Kōyō.

(It seems that etymological information has also been improved, but I would probably care more about this if I hadn't already gone out and bought a bunch of specialist etymology books.)

Popularity factor: 6


Any recommendations among those specialist etymology books?

And, of course, the burning question: will No-Sword stoop to getting the Kojien commemorative t-shirts from Uniqlo?


I like "lovey dovey" as the translation for ラブラブ, seeing that for some couples the Honeymoon period never ends.


無名酒: I recommend the 日本語源大辞典 first of all, because it's a compilation of theories from other etymological dictionaries and can save you lots of work. I also like Ono Susumu/Iwanami's kogo dictionary a lot, and Maeda's dictionary of Edo words.

Marxy: Ever the optimist, I see. That is a good translation, for sure -- even the wordform matches.


it's funny how when you see a link like "linguistic turn," you know it goes to wikipedia before you even click it.


damn that occasional squelching property of kanji. ...and still I love them. why? ...why?

also: wow, only five years ago.

and: sei twice differently is very cool.

btw, I sent you an email. If the email gods are on my side tonight, you may even get it at some point. It is not a long or substantial email however, mainly of testing-waters aim.


R: I knew I should have made it a rickroll.

Cathy: I got it! I will reply.

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