被 -> Incur?

被 kanji is usually given the meaning “cover” as in 被うーおおう (cover) 被るーかぶる (put hat on-cover the head)
it’s also used as passive prefix, for example 被験者 (examinee)

I couldn’t find any example even close to incur. Am I missing something?

Btw so far (level 20) this is the only kanji meaning that I cannot explain.

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I think maybe in words like 被害 and 被告?

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Do you mean like in “incurred a damage/accuse/exam” for damaged/defendant/examinee?

If so it’s seems very stretched but ok… thanks at least I have a hint.

I’ll keep my synonym “passive prefix/cover” anyway :slight_smile:

For what it’s worth, a couple iOS dictionaries I have list these terms for 被:

incur, cover, veil, brood over, shelter, wear, put on, be exposed (film), receiving

The dictionaries use JMDict for the source info.

If anything, by having to look this up I noticed this kanji is used in a lot more compounds and contexts than I expected. It’s getting bookmarked for future studying.

Notable mention

被爆者 (ひばくしゃ) atomic bomb victim

I wouldn’t say it’s stretched.

おおう and かぶる are actually not jouyou readings for the kanji, even though they are the original meaning. こうむる (which can be thought of as “to incur”) is the jouyou reading for it, and that’s how it’s used in a lot of the compounds it appears in. 被害 = 害をこうむること

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I think so. I now realized what threw me off the last time. 受験者 means “examinee” in reference to skill/proficiency tests. 被験者 means “test subject”, as in “test subject of an experiment” (refer to ReLIFE for good usage). That’s where the meaning of “incur” may come into play. I don’t know where the “cover” part comes in.

But in general I wouldn’t “marry” specific meanings to kanji, because many have multiple side meanings and usages.

The “passive indicator” does get listed in kanji dictionaries. Literally in that way.

④る。らる。受身の助字。「被疑」「被告」

Which is kind of a rare way to define something, in my experience looking at kanji meanings. But still, if the argument is “incur doesn’t belong,” I think that doesn’t have ground to stand on.

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thanks I see now.

btw looking at some real case examples none is using incur in the english translation:

I still think that it shouldn’t the only meaning, but at least now I figured out where it comes from.

I can find examples outside of that site where 被る is translated as incur, but examples exist on that site as well.

I think it makes a lot of sense. Incur means to “be subject to”, like you’re on the receiving end of something.

被告 → being subject to announcements. Things are being declared towards you, making you the defendant.

被害 → being subject to damage. You incur damage, so injury/harm/etc. make sense here.

被災者 → a subject to disaster person = a victim of a disaster

被験者 → a subject to test person = an examinee or test subject

被る (こうむる) → literally just to be subject to

被弾 → being subject to a bullet, or incurring a bullet = being shot

Really かぶせる and かぶる are the only two I know that don’t fit extremely well with the “incur” meaning, and even then, those two are usually written in kana.

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yeah probably being not native english I missed this meaning. I’ve only heard “incurred expense” etc.

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Yeah, it just dawned on me that I misinterpreted the word “incur” all the time :open_mouth: (Fits the thread about Wanikani causing one to re-learn English :wink: )

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I think this may also depend on how one interprets the action of “incurring”. かぶる has a ton of meanings looking at Jisho alone:

and many of them seem like one or other form of “incurring” something or making something “incur”.