đứa

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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Vietnamese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Vietic *taːʔ, from Proto-Mon-Khmer. Cognate with Muong Bi tửa (man, male; inferior one), Arem tæːˀ ("elder brother"), Thavung tâ̰ː (Suwilai, 2000; the tonal correspondence to Vietnamese is regular). The term is attested with the meaning "elderly man" in Thavung, "elder brother" in Arem, "man, male" in Muong and "inferior one, kiddie" in Vietnamese, showing the gradual semantic development. Note that Chut [Rục] taː¹ ("maternal grandfather") with tone A1 is a Tai loan (cf. Proto-Tai *taːᴬ, whence Thai ตา (dtaa)) that while undoubtedly related to the Vietic word (and other Austroasiatic words below) is not a reflex of Proto-Vietic *taːʔ (which developed regularly tone-wise to the Vietnamese, Muong and Thavung words, or, in the case of Arem, preserved).

Further cognates included Khmer តា (taa), Khmu taʔ ("grandfather"), Bolyu ta³¹ ("grandfather"), Mon (father), Temiar taak (sir, grandfather). Compare the development seen in Muong (mother-in-law, grandmother) and Maleng Bro jaː³ ("father's elder brother's wife") (from Proto-Vietic *-jaːʔ, from Proto-Mon-Khmer *jaʔ (grandmother)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Classifier[edit]

đứa (𠁂, 𡥥)

  1. indicates young person, child, or an inferior person
    • 2005, Nguyễn Ngọc Tư, "Nhà cổ" (in Cánh đồng bất tận), Trẻ publishing house
      Hai đứa tôi ngồi đâu đó (chỗ mà ai cũng nhìn thấy) nói chuyện chơi, có lúc, chẳng cần nói gì.
      The two of us were sitting somewhere (a place where everyone could see us) chatting, sometimes not needing to say anything.

Usage notes[edit]

  • While never used to refer to a person that one thinks is his/her superior, đứa is not very offensive and can easily used by one to refer to himself/herself or adress his/her peers:
    Hay bốn đứa mình đâu ăn đi?
    Why don't us 4 go eat somewhere?