Fun with Ateji 🈯

A list of various country names. Take note that not all of these are ateji. Specifically:

  • 中国
  • 日本
  • 韓国

In addition, the following are not really ateji, but based on ateji:

  • 南阿共和国: (共和国 means republic, 南 means south and 阿 is ateji for Africa)
  • 米国: (ç±³ comes from 亜米利加, which is the true ateji of USA)
2 Likes

I ran into 甘味あまみ (sweetness) today and found it highly amusing, since inflecting 甘あまい into a noun gives you 甘あまみ, and the み gets ateji’d into 味み (flavor) while still making perfect sense (sweetness = sweet flavor).

3 Likes

On that vein then, there’s the word スマ歩ホ, which is performing 歩く while staring at aスマホ.

5 Likes

加奈陀 = Canada

加加阿カカオ kakao = cacao / cocoa

型録カタログ katarogu = catalog. 型 (model) 録 (record)

達頼喇嘛ダライラマ darairama = Dalai Lama. 達 (accomplished), 頼 (trust), 喇 (chatter), 嘛 (wheat)

also,

bucket (バケツ) can be written using the ateji 馬尻バコウ, which means “horse butt”.

2 Likes

That’s a very scary rendaku right there…