飲み放題 and 食べ放題 Etymology... because I'm Curious


#1

I’m in a lesson right now, and just got 題 as “topic”…
Yet these vocabulary words pop up as the examples.

I’m very curious as to how “drink” + “release topic” and “eat” + “release topic” came to mean “all you can drink” and “all you can eat”.
Perhaps it’s explained in the lessons/pages for these vocabulary items, or if there is more specifically 放題… however it has simply struck me as ODD.

Also… the Questions category description mentions there being a “vocab” category, yet it actually doesn’t exist. And since this has to do with vocab more than kanji… and it’s a question… I put it here.
(To the mods: if you feel like moving this to somewhere more appropriate, please do!)

Thanks! I’m just really curious!


#2

I can’t look it up right now, but you might benefit from a few userscripts + Jisho.org
Some kanji/vocab have like 15 or 20 meanings. Sometimes knowing those other meanings helps it make way more sense.


#3

放 means “release” and “liberate”. There is a sense of freedom, I’d say. Eat without restrictions.


#4

Oh, I like this!
Thanks for the quick reply, Leebo. That makes sense to me.

(Yeah, I constantly put in “to liberate” when 開放する comes up in reviews, while saying “to fling open” and “to throw open” as well… mostly because I think “to liberate” just sounds cooler… and by flinging the prison door open or the gate open… you’re liberating something, anyway. : D )


#5

You can use 放題 as a suffix for many things to imply a sense of unrestricted freedom (sometimes in a negative nuance). The 食べ放題 and 飲み放題 are basically “all you can…”, but with other expressions there are different nuances. Expressions like やりたい放題, 好き放題 and 勝手放題 for example are more like “doing as you please”, “self-indulgence”, “irresponsibility”, etc.


#6

Thank you for even more info!
That’s a really interesting thing. I wonder where else I will come across this.
ありがとう.