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撫子: a common pink, Dianthus plumarius; known as 竜田撫子 (Tatsuta nadeshiko) in Japanese
Kanji in this term

Grade: 1


⟨nade si ko1/nadeɕiko/

From Old Japanese, first attested in the Izumo-no-kuni Fudoki (733 CE).[1]

Originally derived from 撫で (nade), the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, stem or continuative form) of classical verb 撫づ (nadu), modern 撫でる (naderu, to brush, stroke, or caress gently) + (-shi, continuative suffix) + (-ko, diminutive and feminine suffix).


Alternate formsEdit


撫子 (hiragana なでしこ, katakana ナデシコ, rōmaji nadeshiko)

  1. pink (any flower of the genus Dianthus); especially, the 河原撫子 (kawara nadeshiko, fringed pink, large pink, Dianthus superbus)
    • c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 19, poem 4231), text here
       () () () () ()秋咲物 (あきさくもの) () (きみが) (いへ) () (ゆきの) (いはほ) () () () () () () () () [Man'yōgana]
      なでしこ (あき) ()ものを (きみ) (いへ) (ゆき) (いはほ) ()けりけるかも [Modern spelling]
      nadeshiko wa aki-saku mono o kimi ga ie no yuki no iwao ni sakerikeru ka mo
      Pinks are flowers that bloom in fall, but at your house they bloom on a snow mountain.[3]
    Synonyms: 野撫子 (no-nadeshiko), 大和撫子 (Yamato nadeshiko)
  2. Short for 撫子襲 (nadeshiko-gasane): a style of layering garments, with the front layer in the color of 紅梅 (kōbai, red plum or apricot), and the back with blue (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
  3. a style of 家紋 (kamon, family crest), another name for 常夏 (tokonatsu)
  4. a lovable, caressable child

Derived termsEdit

Proper nounEdit

撫子 (hiragana なでしこ, rōmaji Nadeshiko)

  1. a female given name
  2. a surname​.


  1. ^ 1984, 日本大百科全書:ニッポニカ (Nippon Dai Hyakka Zensho: Nipponica, “Encyclopedia Nipponica”) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, relevant text online here.
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ Paula Doe; Yakamochi Ōtomo (1982) A Warbler's Song in the Dusk: The Life and Work of Ōtomo Yakamochi (718-785), illustrated edition, University of California Press, →ISBN, page 131