Japanese edit

Etymology edit

Alternative spelling

From Old Japanese. First attested in the Man'yōshū, compiled 759 CE.[1]

There are various theories regarding the ultimate derivation:

  • Being the initial ma- is from (ma, me, eye), it was thought to be an alteration of 目前 (mesaki, before one's eyes), with the me- element becoming ma-, but there was no attestation of masaki.[1]
  • Compound of root (masa, exactly, found in compounds such as まさに (masa ni, certainly, exactly, without doubt)) +‎ (ka, special suffix indicating condition).[1][2]

Adverb edit

まさか (masaka

  1. unexpectedly, inconceivably, impossibly, surely
    Masaka jiko ni au to wa omotte mo imasen deshita.
    Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be in an accident.

Interjection edit

まさか (masaka

  1. of course not, don't be silly
    Masaka! Sonna wake nai deshō?
    Goodness, of course not!
  2. no way, come off it
    Masaka, hontō ni yatta no ka?
    No way, he/she actually did it!?
  3. no shit
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)

Noun edit

まさか (masaka

  1. an unexpected event
    tōjitsu ni masaka no jiken
    unbelievable incident on the day of
    masaka no toki
    time of need

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 まさか”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000
  2. ^ Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN