|Kanji in this term|
/sakuranbau/ → /sakuranbɔː/ → /sakuranboː/
Etymology unclear. Leading theories include:
- Compound of 桜 (sakura, “cherry, cherry tree”) + の (no, possessive particle) + 坊 (bō, “boy, monk”, in reference to the tradition of shaven heads, indicating the smooth skin of the cherry fruit)
- Compound of 桜 (sakura, “cherry, cherry tree”) + 桃 (momo, “peach”, in reference to fruit in general; with a phonetic shift from /m/ to /b/ and shift from /bobo/ to /bō/)
Given the historical reading of sakuranbau, matching the historical bau reading of 坊, the initial derivation seems more likely.
The sakuranbō represents a regular historical shift from older sakuranbau. Sakuranbō with the long ō has been somewhat superseded in modern Japanese by the shortened reading sakuranbo.
- 桜桃 (less common)
- (fruit) cherry (mostly used for Japanese cherries)
- チェリー (cherī) (mostly used for non-Japanese cherries)