Reason for 肥 = Obese?

Level 25 has 肥 = Obese

But all the translators give the concept of “Fertilizer” and I looked up “Obese” in a copy of Remembering the Kanji (2010) and also on and they give a different Kanji 肪

Any reason for this?

I mean, it’s the kanji used to write “obesity” (肥満) :man_shrugging:

EDIT: On jisho, they also have the meaning of “get fat”


Thats a stretch also considering that there is a specific kanji:

Meanings on Kanjipedia (official site of the Kanji Kentei)

  1. こえる. ふとる. 肉づきがよい (all fatness-themed)
  2. こえ. こやし (manure-themed)

And the meaning for 肪 is あぶら, which is “fat” as in the substance, not the adjective related to human size.


I thought fat substance was 脂:

Yes, that kanji also has the meaning of あぶら

Not unusual

Heisig 2010 / Jisho etc has 肥 as “Fertilizer”, sure kanjipedia has it as a secondary meaning but at first glance I would take it to mean Fertilizer? This is confusing!

Isn’t Heisig restricted in its keywords to some extent? IIRC, every single one is unique. But that kind of conflicts with the fact that many kanji do share meanings with other kanji.

Maybe I’m remembering it incorrectly.

But if you did have to make each one unique, then picking “fertilizer” for this one is understandable, because the others don’t have as many options for unique keywords.

Jisho is not a definitive source of anything. It’s fine in a pinch, but not authoritative.

I don’t really see the big deal, choosing one or the other for your “main” meaning. The kanji has multiple meanings and people are going to generally not worry about multiple meanings when picking an English keyword.

I believe you are right about Heisig, that makes sense.

Didn’t know about Jisho, will stick with kanjipedia, thanks for the tip.

What happened was I had trouble with with the mnemonic story in wanikani so I picked up Heisig for some ideas, but obviously they don’t match www

it means both. You’re going to see that Kanji used in the word 肥料 that means fertilizer/manure as well.

Heh, I like to think that using 肥料 will give you obese ingredients, as in giant vegetables.

I see some kind of semiotic link between obesity and fertilizer, so having one kanji for the two meanings (and having WK focus more on one of them) doesn’t really bother me.

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