上手

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Chinese[edit]

 
on; up; on top; upon; first (of two parts); previous or last (week, etc.); upper; higher; above; previous; to climb; to go into; above; to go up
hand; convenient
simp. and trad.
(上手)

Pronunciation[edit]


Noun[edit]

上手

  1. left-hand seat; seat of honor
  2. predecessor; one's superior
  3. player whose turn comes next
  4. expert

Verb[edit]

上手

  1. to start, to begin
  2. to get in one's hand; to get (fish/etc.) on the hook

Adverb[edit]

上手

  1. (colloquial) at the outset

Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term
じょう
Grade: 1

Grade: 1
on'yomi

/d͡ʑauzu//d͡ʑɔːzu//d͡ʑoːzu/

From Middle Chinese compound 上手 ‎(dzyangH syuwX, to have the upper hand → to gain mastery, to master something, literally top hand).

This reading is likely a later innovation in Japanese after the initial borrowing. This uses the goon of for the first character, and the kan'yōon of zu for the second character.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

上手 ‎(-na inflection, hiragana じょうず, romaji jōzu, historical hiragana じやうず)

  1. skillful, dexterous
Inflection[edit]
Antonyms[edit]

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana じょうず, romaji jōzu, historical hiragana じやうず)

  1. (rare) skill, dexterity
  2. flattery (from being told how skillful one is, even if one isn't)
    いつもお上手 (じょうず)をいわれて自惚 (うぬぼ)れた。
    Itsumo ojōzu o iwarete unuboreta.
    He was always told flattering things and got full of himself.
  3. a person with the seventh dan in the games of shogi or go
Antonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
じょう
Grade: 1
しゅ
Grade: 1
on'yomi

/d͡ʑauɕu//d͡ʑɔːɕu//d͡ʑoːɕu/

From Middle Chinese compound 上手 ‎(dzyangH syuwX, to have the upper hand → to gain mastery, to master something, literally top hand).

This is the goon reading for both characters, so likely the reading as initially borrowed.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

上手 ‎(-na inflection, hiragana じょうしゅ, romaji jōshu, historical hiragana じやうしゆ)

  1. (obsolete) same as jōzu reading above
Usage notes[edit]

Obsolete. Replaced by the jōzu reading above.

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana じょうしゅ, romaji jōshu, historical hiragana じやうしゆ)

  1. (obsolete) same as jōzu reading above
Usage notes[edit]

Obsolete. Replaced by the jōzu reading above.

Etymology 3[edit]

Kanji in this term
じょう
Grade: 1

Grade: 1
jūbakoyomi

/d͡ʑaute//d͡ʑɔːte//d͡ʑoːte/

Variation on jōzu above, replacing the kan'yōon of zu with the kun'yomi of te.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana じょうて, romaji jōte, historical hiragana じやうて)

  1. (rare) alternate for jōzu above
  2. Abbreviation of 上手物 (jōtemono): an exquisite piece of workmanship
Antonyms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Kanji in this term
うわ
Grade: 1

Grade: 1
kun'yomi

Compound of ‎(uwa, up, upper) +‎ ‎(te, hand).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

上手 ‎(-na inflection, hiragana うわて, romaji uwate)

  1. superior, better
  2. aggressive, bold, on the offensive
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana うわて, romaji uwate)

  1. (sumo) an overhand hold
  2. (sumo) the upper hand in an overhand hold
  3. upstream, the upstream portion of a river
  4. upwind
  5. a skilled player of games, such as go or shogi
Antonyms[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

Kanji in this term
かみ
Grade: 1

Grade: 1
kun'yomi

Compound of ‎(kami, up, upper) +‎ ‎(te, hand).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana かみて, romaji kamite)

  1. upstream, the upstream portion of a river
  2. upwind
  3. uphill, the upper portion of a hill or other geographic feature
  4. the head of a table, the seat of honor
  5. stage left: the left-hand side of a stage when looking from the stage towards the audience
  6. the left-hand side of a drawstring on a fishing net
Antonyms[edit]

Etymology 6[edit]

Kanji in this term
Grade: 1 Grade: 1
Irregular

/kamute//kaute//kɔːte//koːte/

Originally a compound of ‎(kamu, up, upper) +‎ ‎(te, hand).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Irregular reading)
  • IPA(key): [ko̞ːte̞]

Noun[edit]

上手 ‎(hiragana こうて, romaji kōte, historical hiragana かうて)

  1. (rare) the left-hand side of a drawstring on a fishing net

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9