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Etymology 1Edit


Originally a compound of (o, honorific prefix) +‎ 愛でたく (medetaku, admirably, auspiciously), from adjective 愛でたい (medetai, admirable, auspicious).[2][3][1]

Modern Japanese -i adjectives formerly ended in -ki for the attributive form. This medial /k/ dropped out during the Muromachi period, both for the attributive form (-ki becoming -i) and for the adverbial form (-ku becoming -u). However, the adverbial form reverted back to -ku thereafter for most words, with the -u ending persisting in certain everyday set expressions, such as arigatō, ohayō, or omedetō, and in hyper-formal speech.

Alternative formsEdit


おめでとう (rōmaji omedetō, historical hiragana おめでたう)

  1. congratulations, congrats
Usage notesEdit

Most often written in hiragana. May occasionally be seen spelled in kanji, generally for more formal writing. The kanji spellings are examples of ateji. Usually followed by ございます (gozaimasu, it is, formal) in less casual contexts.[2][3][1]

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

A pun on the congratulatory meaning of omedetō, using the common kanji spelling of 御目出 for the omede- portion and spelling the final -tō with the character (, sugar).[2][3][1]


おめでとう (rōmaji omedetō, historical hiragana おめでたう)

  1. 御目出糖: a type of Japanese sweet made from rice and azuki bean paste, eaten at times of celebration


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN

Further readingEdit