可笑しい

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
おか
Grade: 5 Grade: 4
jukujikun

Etymology[edit]

Two derivations appear to have credence.[1]

  • From noun (woko → oko, foolishness, ridiculousness, outrageousness). The sense development would have been laughable, funny, odd.
  • Similar to the formation of 床しい (yukashii, elegant, refined, admirable; reminiscent, in accordance with) from verb 行く (yuku, to go), from the sense of having a quality to make one want to go towards, from verb 招く (woku → oku, to invite others closer, to draw others closer). The sense development would have been inviting, amusing, funny, odd.

Considering the sense grouping, it appears that this might be a fusion of derivations, or of influence. The now-obsolete senses pertaining to interesting first arise in the late Heian period[2] and would seem to fit the latter verb derivation. There are several other adjectives with similar derivation patterns, as [VERB STEM] + -ashii or -oshii.

Meanwhile, the current senses pertaining to funny and odd first appear earlier in the Heian period[1] and would seem to fit the former noun derivation.

The spelling uses the characters (-able) + (laugh), likely borrowed from written Chinese 可笑 (laughable, funny, ridiculous).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Tokyo pitch accent of inflected forms of "おかしい"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Continuative (連用形) おかしく しく
かし
[òkáꜜshìkù]
[òkáshíꜜkù]
Terminal (終止形) おかしい かし [òkáshíꜜì]
Attributive (連体形) おかしい かし [òkáshíꜜì]
Key constructions
Informal negative おかしくない しくない
かしくない
[òkáꜜshìkùnàì]
[òkáshíꜜkùnàì]
Informal past おかしかった しかった
かしかった
[òkáꜜshìkàttà]
[òkáshíꜜkàttà]
Informal negative past おかしくなかった しくなかった
かしくなかった
[òkáꜜshìkùnàkàttà]
[òkáshíꜜkùnàkàttà]
Formal おかしいです かしいです [òkáshíꜜìdèsù]
Conjunctive おかしくて しくて
かしくて
[òkáꜜshìkùtè]
[òkáshíꜜkùtè]
Conditional おかしければ しければ
かしければ
[òkáꜜshìkèrèbà]
[òkáshíꜜkèrèbà]

Adjective[edit]

可笑(おか)しい (okashiiをかしい (wokasī)? -i (adverbial 可笑(おか)しく (okashiku))

  1. funny:
    1. funny, laughable
      あのピエロの(うご)きは、可笑(おか)しい
      Ano piero no ugoki wa, okashii.
      That clown's behavior is funny.
    2. strange, odd
      彼女(かのじょ)可笑(おか)しいけど綺麗(きれい)だ。
      Kanojo wa okashii kedo kirei da.
      She is strange but pretty.
    3. unreasonable, illogical
      追試(ついし)をしても証明(しょうめい)できなければ、その論文(ろんぶん)可笑(おか)しい
      Tsuishi o shite mo shōmei dekinakereba, sono ronbun wa okashii.
      The report is unreasonable if even the supplementary examination cannot prove it.
  2. (obsolete) interesting:
    1. interesting
    2. tasteful
    3. beautiful and attractive
    4. excellent, superb

Usage notes[edit]

The 可笑しい spelling has become rare in modern usage, superseded by the hiragana spelling おかしい.

Similar to 小さい (chīsai, small) and 大きい (ōkii), this adjective also has an adnominal form 可笑しな (okashina) that only attaches to nouns, and that cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence.

Inflection[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1974, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Second Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō