可愛い

JapaneseEdit

Etymology 1Edit

 
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Kanji in this term

Grade: 5
あい > わい
Grade: 4
on’yomi jukujikun

/kawajui//kawaiː/

Shift in pronunciation from kawayui below.[1]

The kanji spelling 可愛い is an example of ateji (当て字) and jukujikun (熟字訓), and uses an irregular reading of . The phonological resemblance to Chinese 可愛 (lovable, Mandarin kě'ài, Min Nan khó-ài) is coincidental. Note that the medial -w- here is not an excrescence added between ka () and ai (), since the word is not formed from these morphemes.

Already realized phonetically as /kawaiː/ by the early 1600s, and possibly found alongside older form kawayui, as seen in the 1603 edition of the Nippo Jisho.[2]

PronunciationEdit

  • Tokyo pitch accent of inflected forms of "可愛い"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Continuative (連用形) 可愛く いく
わい
[kàwáꜜìkù]
[kàwáíꜜkù]
Terminal (終止形) 可愛い わい [kàwáíꜜì]
Attributive (連体形) 可愛い わい [kàwáíꜜì]
Key constructions
Informal negative 可愛くない いくない
わいくない
[kàwáꜜìkùnàì]
[kàwáíꜜkùnàì]
Informal past 可愛かった いかった
わいかった
[kàwáꜜìkàttà]
[kàwáíꜜkàttà]
Informal negative past 可愛くなかった いくなかった
わいくなかった
[kàwáꜜìkùnàkàttà]
[kàwáíꜜkùnàkàttà]
Formal 可愛いです わいいです [kàwáíꜜìdèsù]
Conjunctive 可愛くて いくて
わいくて
[kàwáꜜìkùtè]
[kàwáíꜜkùtè]
Conditional 可愛ければ いければ
わいければ
[kàwáꜜìkèrèbà]
[kàwáíꜜkèrèbà]
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AdjectiveEdit

可愛(かわい) (kawaii-i (adverbial 可愛(かわい) (kawaiku), historical kana かはいい)

  1. lovable, beloved
    可愛(かわい)()には(たび)をさせよ
    kawaii ko ni wa tabi o saseyo
    spare the rod and spoil the child
    (literally, “send your beloved child on a journey”)
  2. cute, adorable
    かわいい()()()
    kawaii ko to tsukiau
    to go out with (date) a cute girl
InflectionEdit

Usage notesEdit

Often spelled in hiragana.

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Kanji in this term

Grade: 5
あい‎ > わゆ
Grade: 4
on’yomi jukujikun

/kahahajushi//kahajushi//kawajui/

A contraction of classical 顔映し (kawahayushi, embarrassing, shameful). The meaning evolved from shameful to evoking pity, to evoking compassion, and then to lovable.[1] The kanji spelling appears to be jukujikun (熟字訓), from the above reading. Compare Korean 예쁘다 (yeppeu-da), which originally meant poor (as in "poor, poor kid") but now means pretty.

PronunciationEdit

  • (Irregular reading)

AdjectiveEdit

可愛(かわゆ) (kawayui-i (adverbial 可愛(かわゆ) (kawayuku), historical kana かはゆい)

  1. embarrassed, having a guilty conscience: see 顔映し (kawahayushi).
  2. (obsolete) pitiable, pitiful
    • 1632, Diego Collado, Dictionarium sive thesauri linguae Iaponicae compendium
      Miſerabilis, e: coſa que cauſa laſtima, cavaij.
      (Latin:) Wretched; (Spanish:) thing that causes pity, kawaii.
  3. lovable, adorable, cute
InflectionEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 1603, Nippo Jisho (in Portuguese), relevant text here. Left-hand column, third entry down, listed as Cauaij.
  3. 3.0 3.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN