Special kanji words derived from other words

I’m kinda blown away to discover that 店 = 見世 (みせ) and it’s even a valid (but archaic) reading !
Originally, it’s a contraction of 見世棚, that were some kind of shelf to exhibit goods for customer to see. And 見世 is just a noun form of 見せる. Also appears in 見世物, show, spectacle.


I’ve seen 見世物 before, but I didn’t know the full origin. Neat!


掌 can also be read たなごころ, which comes from 手の心. Added it to the last section.


Do old/uncommon ones count? I love うさぎうま (兎馬)

For “look up” there is the word あおむく (仰向く), which wears its origins on its sleeve through the kanji.

For “look down” there is the word うつむく (俯く), which is written with just one kanji, despite the fact that it has the same 向く element to it. Any idea what, if anything, the うつ part comes from? I can’t find anything to confirm or deny if it belongs to this category.


Maybe the difference between them has something to do with this? I couldn’t find any evidence of うつむく ever having のく in it

Both of those also seem related to 傾く, which we have in the list already as derived from 片向く. That’s listed in Goo, but it doesn’t mention anything for 俯く.

Searching for 俯く 語源 or 俯く エティモロジー didn’t really give any useful results either. I literally get one hit that even (maybe?) tries to be relevant, but I don’t really understand the notation it uses or the point it’s trying to make. It’s probably not relevant, but I’ll leave it here just in case: https://abasartakes9.ti-da.net/e11624407.html

Just added 希う, read こいねがう. Alternate spelling is 乞い願う.


This video has some fun word origin examples: 「ひよこ」と「うんこ」の共通点は?【語源辞典ぜんぶ読む】#26 - YouTube

(I’ve been wanting to share this channel because it seems surprisingly approachable and has some great content.)

I love how whenever I learn a new word and think it’s probably derived from other words, I check this thread and find it here every time!

I learned (あざむ)く now and thought it probably has something to do with 向く, but was surprised to not find it here - so I thought maybe I was actually wrong this time, and I didn’t find anything about it on Goo - but then I checked wiktionary, and sure enough:


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Remind me that recently I learned (そむく)く and yes, as we can guess, it’s just ()+()く (and そ instead of せ for 背 is probably an old pronunciation)