Okay, kanji, now you've gone too far

On the left is our friendly neighborhood 子, the child we know and love.


On the right is… a kanji that is apparently primarily used to make words for some insect larvae. Mosquitoes, for example. 孑々 is read ぼうふら. Another word I found is 孑然 (けつぜん isolated, alone, helpless)

This is over the line.

I want to see your manager.


According to jisho an alternative way of writing 孑孑 is 孑孒 !?

Does it means a small insect larva is a 子孑孒 ? :exploding_head:


Ah, I was hoping one like that was going to exist, because now I can say “well, that one’s not over the line”. :stuck_out_tongue:


It doesn’t even have the decency to use a different stroke order.


Am I wrong in assuming the stroke order is different?

It looks like the main horizontal line in the left one is drawn starting from the left, and the reverse in the right?

Edit: just checked, according to my kanji dictionary, they’re the same stroke order. I, too, would like to speak to the manager


The horizontal line in 子 is also from left to right. Just… not angled up.


I think I’m just gonna forget that second kanji exists and try to return to blissful ignorance.


No Japanese person I’ve asked yet was aware of it (though none of them are kanji fanatics or Japanese language teachers). All of them knew the word ぼうふら, but some of them didn’t know ぼうふら are the larvae of mosquitos. They thought it was some other kind of animal altogether.


But it is now burned indelibly into all of our memories. Just think of how appreciative the small isolated, helpless mosquito larvae must feel knowing that we can understand stories written just about them!


Well of course it is. Adult mosquitoes just spring fully-formed from stagnant water.


When I search that word I also get 棒振 as another combination, and then right under it, I see the entry for 孑孑. I wonder if it’s usually writing with the former kanji. And by usually, I mean when it’s not usually written in kana alone.

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棒を振るような泳ぎ is offered as an explanation of the origin of the word. So that’s where that kanji comes from. It’s almost never written in kanji in any sense. 孑孑 is probably the “correct” way if you wanted to write it in kanji and you were doing so in a serious (scientific?) setting.


“Swim like a shaking stick,” if I’m reading that correctly(?), is a beautiful explanation :laughing: I’ll keep my eyes peeled next time I’m reading through Japanese scientific papers on mosquito larva.

On a slightly unrelated note, I must ask where you managed to stumble upon this?

Unless you’re reading through Japanese scientific papers on mosquito larva, in which case, fair enough


I was reading about mosquitoes and the word ぼうふら appeared in hiragana, and I just looked it up (even though it was explained as 蚊の幼虫 within the sentence). I just was shocked at the kanji when the dictionary entry came up.

Oh, and the reason I was reading about mosquitoes is because I was studying the kanji 吻 (ふん proboscis) for Kanken level pre-1 and I just assumed that stuff about mosquitoes would use it. And I was right about that.

Fun fact about that kanji, the word 接吻 (せっぷん) is like… the technical term for kissing.


What were you doing that lead you to read about mosquitoes?

You got leebo-ceptioned again.


Since you’ve made my brain hurt after a rather lengthy review, I’ll leave you with the page I like to use as a test of how far I’ve come… It helps that I actually know a fair bit about this in English.


There’s something grand about not only getting leebo-ed, but being called about for being leebo-ed by leebo. Definitely cracked a grin.

Also, having the kanji for proboscis in the formal word for kissing is poetry at its finest, somehow.


Yeah, I know the concept in English roughly, so even though I’ve never seen most of those words before, I didn’t have trouble following what I read of it. Long scientific kanji compounds are usually good about being pretty literal in their meanings, except when the concept gets tangled up with pre-scientific ideas I guess.


Additionally, Leebo-ception is a special type of getting Leebo’d when you are Leebo’d by Leebo while responding to Leebo (because Leebo always edits posts after posting).