呂radical/kanji


#1

On both Rikaikun, Jisho, and wikipedia, this shows as spine/backbone.

It’s a level 22 radical, level 52 kanji, both times reads as bath. That’d be fine for the radical, but doesn’t seem like it makes sense for the kanji, since the kanji for bath is
風呂
and on its own, 呂 doesn’t seem to mean bath?

(The 湯 kanji seems to mean bath, but only really with other kanji in combination? But it is listed as a meaning.)

This seems like an error.


#2

I haven’t learnt 呂 yet but…

As far as 湯 goes, I think the “bath” definition for that one mostly refers to onsen/hot spring specifically. Can anyone confirm that? That was always my assumption but I don’t want to assume incorrectly. If it can mean just a regular ol’ bath as well, I’d love to know.


#3

Yeah, you’ll tend to see 湯 listed on the sign or hanging cloth (I forget the official name for those things) for public bathhouses / onsen.


#4

浴室 - bathroom, bath
浴場 - bath (tub, bathhouse)
So yeah, probably mostly used for onsen. My only point was that the main “bath” we tend to think of is not the kanji 呂 alone, as that is spine, but お風呂・風呂


#5

Yeah, I fully understand your main point/question and I’m wondering about that too. My post was mostly just an additional question based on your question haha


#6

The meaning of a kanji is actually more abstract than it seems. It’s really the words that give meaning to the kanji rather than the other way around.
In the case of 呂, it is used almost exclusively as part of 風呂, the “spine” meaning is almost never used. It just makes more sense to learn it as “bath” since that’s how you’ll see it most of the time.


#7

Gotcha. So do you not feel it’s worthwhile to add spine/backbone as at least an official synonym?

@Kristen thoughts?


#8

I agree with Deatrathias.

風呂 is 当て字, i.e. the kanji were only picked for their sounds (fu+ro), but there are basically no other words with 呂. It’s like 奈: I only know it as the な in Nara and Kanagawa.


#9

I’m glad you mentioned this, @Lorentso. It’s always helpful to be reminded that some kanji are simply picked for their sounds.


#10

@Deatrathias and @Lorentso have the right idea.