Japanese

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Etymology

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Kanji in this term
うし
Grade: 2
kun'yomi
Alternative spelling

From Old Japanese.[1] Appears in the Kojiki of 712 CE. Also cited to a portion of the Shoku Nihongi dated to 781, with the phonetic spelling 宇志呂 (usiro2).[2] In turn, from Proto-Japonic *osirə. Cognate with Hachijō おしろ (oshiro).

Ultimate derivation unknown. Might be from stem us- ("lost; gone, out of sight", as in 失う (ushinau, to lose), older verb 失す (usu, to lose; to go away)) + locative suffix -ro2 indicating an interior (as in (tokoro, place), 空ろ虚ろ (utsuro, emptiness, a hollow), (uro, a hollow space in something), (muro, room; cave), possibly (kokoro, heart)). The earliest sense of "somewhere out of sight"[2] also suggests a connection with stem us-.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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(うし) (ushiro

  1. the back, the behind, the rear (both spatially and temporally)
    • 720, Nihon Shoki, poem 120:
      , text available at ONCOJ here
      瀰儺度能于之藩能矩娜利于那倶娜梨(みなとのうしおのくだりうなくだり)于之盧(うしろ)母倶例尼飫岐底舸由舸武(もくれにおきてかゆかむ) [Man'yōgana]
      (みなと)(うしお)(くだ)海下(うなくだ)(うし)()れに()きてか()かむ [Modern spelling]
      minato no ushio no kudari unakudari ushiro mo kure ni okiteka yukamu
      With the harbour's ebbing tide, as the sea goes down, with the darkness behind me. Leaving him, I must go.
  2. one's backside

Derived terms

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References

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  1. ^ Frellesvig, Bjarke, Stephen Wright Horn, et al. (eds.) (2023) “Old Japanese usiro”, in Oxford-NINJAL Corpus of Old Japanese[1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 後ろ”, in 日本国語大辞典 [Nihon Kokugo Daijiten]‎[2] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tokyo: Shogakukan, 2000
  3. ^ Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  4. ^ Kindaichi, Kyōsuke et al., editors (1997), 新明解国語辞典 [Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten] (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  5. ^ NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tokyo: NHK Publishing, Inc., →ISBN