Anyone else have trouble remembering the pronunciations for 父 and 母 due to Dragon Ball? Or am I just weird? Anyone else have any mnemonics that seem to have hurt you in the long run rather than helped?

Way back when (I started Wanikani in 2013, took a long hiatus and then did a reset) when I first learned 父 I thought, "Huh, that’s funny. In Dragon Ball Chichi is Goku’s wife, but 父 pronounced ちち means “father.”

The next time I went to review my brain went, "What was it again? Something about Dragon Ball? Oh, Chichi! That’s right, ちち means “mother!” Which was of course wrong.

So the next time after that, I went to review and my brain went, "Okay, so it had something to do with Dragon Ball, but it was the opposite of what I thought it was. I think that I thought that it was weird that “chichi” meant “father” since that is the name of Goku’s wife… and since I’m expecting it should mean “father,” that means the answer should be the opposite, “mother!” Which of course again was wrong.

All these years later and I still hesitate for a second before I say/write either 父 or 母, while in my head my brain does a little song and dance about Dragon Ball and whether or not it is weird that the meaning of the word matches or does not match what I’d expect it to mean based on Chichi’s name and relationship to Goku.


Possibly her name comes from the ちち that also means おっぱい :stuck_out_tongue:


And they also have identical pitch accent, so there’s no distinguishing that way. “Father” and “boobs” are both odaka.

Though the name is probably different. Two mora names like that tend to be atamadaka. I’m not familiar with it so I can’t say for sure.

There may or may not be a connection.

EDIT: for what it’s worth the Japanese wikipedia article about her does say it comes from 乳. Keep in mind that it also means “milk”, and she apparently has some connection to the kanji 牛, so that’s the origin I guess.


Actually Dragon Ball helped me remember.

Haha, Goku thinks he’s in charge? Chichi is the man of the house, she wears the trousers.


That was my thought as well :stuck_out_tongue:
It’s Dragonball after all.

There’s been a couple of mnemonics that confused me and my willingness to rely on them led to leeches. However, nowadays if I try out a mnemonic and my brain says “no” to the point it hurts I instantly let go.

Anime references have been useful to me. For instance, 微か (Berserk reference) and 密か (Hunter x Hunter reference).

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Only fathers have ちんちんs. Remember that, and sooner or later you will instinctively remember that ちち is father.

I always take a few seconds for me to process that seven is なな or しち and eight is はち. My personal mindblock lol

Yes, her father is The Ox King (in the English dub), so her name’s relation to 牛 makes sense.

Many of the names in the Dragon Ball series follow pretty lame themes. One set of characters have names based on vegetables. Another set have names based on clothing.


I had the same problem with ちち, but at least Dragon Ball was helpful when i came across 占い (because of Uranai Baba of course)

Never watched dragon ball, but you might be able to remember it if you drill it into your mind that this is an opposite reading