Today some tidbits about a word you have probably heard already: “hime”
It sounds soft, but I didn’t really think much about this word until I happened to come across a similar word while browsing through a dictionary (I’m strange, I know.)
Earlier in Japanese history, “hime” was often used as an euphemism for women and to decorate a women’s name by adding it as a suffix.
Anyway, it turns out this word is not as random as you might have thought. Take a look at this:
|彦||hiko||euphemism for women|
|姫||hime||euphemism for men|
Notice the pattern? Good. “hi” occurs in both words, the difference being “ko” and “me.” Now use either your feeling for the language or a dictionary and find:
hiko = 日(hi)+子(ko) = sun child
Recall how the sun takes a prominent place in Japanese culture and mythology, and the etymology starts to make sense. Now, can you guess what “hime” consists of?
hime = 日(hi)+女(me) = sun girl
I think this makes the word hime sound even more beautiful than it already is. But we must also that “human=man” can not only be found in English, but also in Japanese, “hiko” only refers to a male, while “ko” is only a child of unspecified sex.
And while we’re on the topic, there’s the more common kanji 姫 and the somewhat rarer kanji 媛 for “hime.” Well actually, is the kanji which originally meant “female of high status”, literally consisting of 女(women)+𦣝(here:form of two breasts)=”women who is wealthy of enough to raise and feed her children.” It was later replaced in favor of the slightly simpler kanji 姫, which originally meant “discreet”,”prudently”,”restrained.”
Now, its current look makes one think that 姫=女+臣=”woman”+”servant”, which doesn’t quite do it justice, imo. The other kanji, however, is 媛＝=女+
=”woman”+”draw”,”attract”=”beautiful woman to whom one feels attracted.” It’d say 媛 looks better, feels better and suits a princess much better. But feel free to form your own opinion. of the matter.
With that, I’m hoping for more sunny days…