The second-person sense of you likely arose via the same general indirection mechanisms that gave rise to all Japanese personal pronouns. Consider also ancient 汝 (na) or more modern 己 (onore), used for both first- and second-person referral. This usage is first cited in a text from 1923, but is likely older.
- (dialect, Kansai, Kagoshima) I, me (first-person pronoun, mainly used by males)
- you (second-person pronoun, used when addressing an equal or inferior)
- Synonym: お前 (omae)
- (dated) A particle used in the end of sentences to indicate admiration or emotion. Slightly stronger than わ (wa).
Mainly used during the Edo period. Now only used by elderly males.
Various Sino-Japanese roots.