|Kanji in this term|
From the Middle Chinese noun for vinegar, probably 醋 (tsʰuo, “vinegar”), plus the native Old Japanese adjective suffix し (shi, modern い i). Appears as early as the late Heian period, in the 今昔物語集 (Konjaku Monogatari Shū, “Anthology of Tales from Today and Yesterday”).
The adjective's older terminal form of sushi remains as the derivation of the modern noun 寿司 (sushi).
- vinegary, sour
- 酸っぱい (suppai): sour (more common than sui)