- (well): 井
- KangXi: page 81, character 1
- Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 101
- Dae Jaweon: page 164, character 1
- Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 45, character 1
- Unihan data for U+4E3C
|simp. and trad.
- Min Nan
|Middle Chinese pronunciation (丼, reconstructed)|
|Character (丼), Pronunciation 1/1|
Initial: 端 (5)
|Old Chinese pronunciation (丼, reconstructed)|
|Baxter-Sagart system 1.1 (2014)|
|Middle Chinese||Old Chinese||English|
|丼||jǐng||‹ tsjengX ›||/*C.tseŋʔ/||a well|
Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter-Sagart system:
|Zhengzhang system (2003)|
- variant of '井'
- bowl of food
- Sound of something falling in a well. Ref: 《集韻》：「丼：投物井中聲。」
- Throwing or littering something to lower position.
|Kanji in this term|
Multiple possible derivations.
- During the Edo period, restaurants specializing in large portions were called 慳貪屋 (kendon'ya), from 慳貪 (kendon, “greedy”, in reference to “very hungry”) + 屋 (ya, “house, store, restaurant”). The serving bowls were called 慳貪振り鉢 (kendon-buri-bachi), literally “greedy” + “in that fashion” + “bowl”. The ken portion was elided, producing donburi-bachi, and then the -hachi was dropped to produce donburi.
- Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, donburi in reference to “a bowl filled with large amount of food” may be cognate with どんぶり (donburi), an onomatopoeia of something heavy plunking into deep water, or something big and soft plopping down, related to onomatopoeia どぶり (doburi), どぶん (dobun), どんぶ (donbu), and どん (don), all of generally similar meanings. The food starts with a large portion of rice, also referred to as 丼飯 (donburi meshi), which could be analyzed as “plopped-down rice”.
- Donburi is also used to refer to something “rough, approximate, not finely worked”, as in the phrase 丼勘定 (donburi kanjō, “rough approximation, loose estimate”). This is consistent with a derivation from the onomatopoeia, but not from the restaurant terms.
The kanji spelling shows 井 (“a well”) with a dot in the center, possibly indicating something thrown into the well. This could suggest that the Middle Chinese reading /təmX/ may similarly derive from onomatopoeia.
- a simple large bowl for serving food
- a one-bowl meal served in a donburi bowl, consisting of a large portion of rice, covered in a meat or fish
To disambiguate, speakers may refer more specifically to donburibachi for the bowl, and donburi mono for the food.
English-language sources often refer to the food as similar to stew served over rice. Note, however, that stews consist of meat, fish, and/or vegetables cooked in a liquid and served with the sauce, whereas donburi toppings may be relatively dry, as in tempura donburi or beef donburi, or even uncooked, as in tekkadon (tuna sashimi donburi).
|Kanji in this term|
- (Tokyo) ん[dóꜜǹ] (Atamadaka - )
- IPA(key): [dõ̞ɴ]
- When used as a suffix, the resulting term has a 平板型 (heiban-gata, “flat type”) or type 0 pitch accent pattern.
Seldom used as an independent noun. More commonly encountered as a suffix.
- 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
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