太郎

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 2
ろう
Grade: S
kan’yōon on’yomi
Alternative spelling
太郞 (kyūjitai)

Etymology[edit]

Appears to be a coinage within Japanese from Middle Chinese-derived elements, as a compound of (ta, fat; great) +‎ (, boy).

Initially used as a given name for an eldest son.[1]

Attested since at least the early 900s.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

()(ろう) (Tarōたらう (tarau)?

  1. [from at least the early 900s] a male given name (particularly for an eldest son)
  2. [from late 1100s] (euphemistic, by extension) the first, the biggest, the tallest, the most, the best

Usage notes[edit]

Used as a generic or stereotypical male name, like English Joe.

The first, biggest, etc. sense is used as if it were a name. This is often found used in combinations as a kind of euphemism, such as referring to the 利根川 (Tone-gawa, Tone River) as 坂東太郎 (Bandō Tarō, literally Tarō of the Bandō region), essentially describing the Tone River as the "eldest son" (i.e. foremost, biggest) of the rivers in the Bandō region.

Noun[edit]

()(ろう) (tarōたらう (tarau)?

  1. (Internet slang) generic protagonist of isekai-kei and social-network games
  2. [from 1797] (derogatory, slang) a fool, an idiot
  3. [from 1929] (derogatory, slang, criminal jargon) a country bumpkin, a mark (as a targeted victim for theft or other crime)

Suffix[edit]

()(ろう) (-tarōたらう (tarau)?

  1. suffixing element in male given names
    (けん)太郎(たろう)(しん)太郎(たろう)(よう)太郎(たろう)(こう)太郎(たろう)
    Kentarō, Shintarō, Yōtarō, Kōtarō
    -

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 太郎”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), 2nd edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000, →ISBN
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN