なんて

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See also: なんで

Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

A contraction of phrase (nado, and so forth, etc.) + とて (tote, particle combination indicating “that kind of thing”, from to, quotative particle + te, conjunctive particle).[1]

Some sources describe this as a shift from (nado) + (to),[2][3][4] or from (nado) + (to) + (wa, topic particle),[4] or even just from (nado),[4] but the phonetic shift in the final vowel from -o or -a to -e is unexplainable in these hypotheses.

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

なんて (rōmaji nante)

  1. (adverbial particle, dismissive, pejorative) emphasizes disgust, contempt, or otherwise negative feelings of the speaker: whatever
     (まえ)なんてどうでもいい。
    Omae nante dō de mo ii.
    Whatever.

Synonyms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Sources describe this as a sound shift from the phrase 言う (nan to iu, compare English constructions whatever kind of; what a ..., literally what's it called; what a ...).[2][1][3][4] There is evidence of a form nantē,[2] suggesting a fusion of vowel sounds, where the phonetic development may have proceeded as follows:

/nan to iu//nantɔiu//nantee//nante/

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adverb[edit]

なんて (rōmaji nante)

  1. what a, such a
    なんて (うつく)しい () (じょ)だな。
    Nante utsukushii bijo da na.
    What a beautiful woman.
    なんてことない
    nante koto nai
    a walk in the park; nothing
  2. what (used quotatively)
    ね、 () (のう) (まえ)なんて ()ってたんだっけ。
    Ne, kinō omae nante itte ta n da kke.
    Hey, what was it you were saying yesterday?
    これなんて ()む?
    Kore nante yomu?
    How do you say this?
    これって (なん)名前 (なまえ)
    Kore tte nante namae?
    What is this called?

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  3. 3.0 3.1 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, ISBN 4-09-501211-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13143-0