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Tuesday
May012012

Onna

            Back when I was looking into the different ways the Japanese called their wives, I was reminded of how the kanji 女 (おんな, onna), which means “woman”, is used as a part or radical of other Chinese characters.

 

Onna (女) woman

Yomé (嫁)

“woman” + “house”

a bride, wife, daughter-in-law

Ané (姉)

“woman” + “market”

one’s older sister

Imôto (妹)

“woman” + “the end, youngest”

        one’s younger sister

Musume (娘)

“woman” + “good”

daughter, a girl

Fujin (婦人)

“woman” + “clean?”

a woman, a lady

Shûtome (姑)

“woman” + “old”

one’s mother-in-law

Mei (姪)

“woman” + “extremely, resulting”

niece

Hime (姫)

“woman” + “great, giant”

a princess

Muko (婿)

“woman” + “?”

son-in-law

 

There are, I believe, 100 kanji that contain the radical 女, including one that looks like it could possibly be the Chinese character for love sandwich:

 

Jô/Naburu (嬲)

“男/man” + “女/woman” + “男/man”

 

Naburu (嬲る), actually, means to “tease” or “mock” as in:

子犬を嬲る (koinu-o naburu)

tease a little dog

彼は友達から嬲られた (kare-wa tomodachi kara naburareta)

He was made fun of by his friends.

 

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