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See also:
U+59B9, 妹
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-59B9

[U+59B8]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+59BA]

Translingual[edit]

Han character[edit]

(Kangxi radical 38, +5, 8 strokes, cangjie input 女十木 (VJD), four-corner 45490, composition )

Stroke order
0 strokes

References[edit]

  • Kangxi Dictionary: page 257, character 28
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 6138
  • Dae Jaweon: page 522, character 23
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 2, page 1034, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+59B9

Chinese[edit]

trad.
simp. #

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Small seal script

Phono-semantic compound (形聲形声, OC *mɯːds) : semantic (female, woman) + phonetic (OC *mɯds).

Etymology[edit]

Probably Sino-Tibetan. Proposed etymologies:

Pronunciation[edit]


Note:
  • Xiamen:
    • bē - vernacular;
    • bōe - literary.
  • Quanzhou:
    • bēr - vernacular;
    • mūi - literary.
  • Zhangzhou:
    • māi - vernacular;
    • moāi - literary.
Note:
  • muê6 - literary;
  • muê7 - vernacular.
Note:
  • mei5 - vernacular;
  • mei4 - literary.

    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (4)
    Final () (42)
    Tone (調) Departing (H)
    Openness (開合) Closed
    Division () I
    Fanqie
    Baxter mwojH
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /muʌiH/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /muoiH/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /muɒiH/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /mwəjH/
    Li
    Rong
    /muᴀiH/
    Wang
    Li
    /muɒiH/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /muɑ̆iH/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    mèi
    Expected
    Cantonese
    Reflex
    mui6
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    mèi
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ mwojH ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*C.mˁə[t]-s/
    English younger sister

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 12914
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*mɯːds/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. younger sister
    2. girl; young female
    3. (Hakka) daughter
    4. a surname

    Synonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Descendants[edit]

    • Thai: หมวย (mǔai, younger sister) (said by Chinese ethnicity)

    References[edit]

    Japanese[edit]

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 2 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    いも
    Grade: 2
    kun’yomi

    ⟨imo1 → */imʷo//imo/

    From Old Japanese (imo1). First cited in the Kojiki of 712.[1]

    Speculatively, may be related to terms such as (me1, womi1na, woman), (omi1na, elderly woman), and (omo1, mother), wherein the medial /-m-/ appears to signify woman, female.[1] However, the difference in vowel values presents a difficulty.

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (いも) (imo

    1. (archaic, said from a male speaker) a close female companion
      1. one's sister regardless of age difference
      2. one's lover or sweetheart who is the subject of marriage or is already married
        • 905914, Kokin Wakashū (book 11, poem 485)
          かりごもの(おも)(みだ)れて(われ)()ふといも()るらめや(ひと)()げずは
          karigomo no omoimidarete ware kou to imo shirurame ya hito shi tsugezu wa
          (please add an English translation of this example)
    2. (archaic, said from a female speaker) a close female companion
    Antonyms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 2[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    いもうと
    Grade: 2

    /imo ɸito//imowito/ → */imowuto//imoːto/

    Originally a compound of (imo, sister, close female companion) +‎ (hito, person).[1][2][3][4] First cited in The Tales of Ise of the early 900s.[1]

    This is an instance of ウ音便 (u onbin, u sound shift), found in terms with bilabial consonants (/m/, /b/, /w/) followed by i; commonly seen in terms such as 玄人 (kurōto, professional), 素人 (shirōto, amateur), or possibly, 相撲 (sumō, sumo).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (いもうと) (imōto

    1. one's own younger sister
      Antonym: (ane, older sister)
      • 2005 January 10, Izawa, Hiroshi with Yamada, Kotaro, “(だい)34() (ふく)(しゅう)(やり)”, in ファイアーエムブレム 覇者の剣 [Fire Emblem: Sword of Champions], volume 9 (fiction), Tokyo: Shueisha, →ISBN, page 60:
        (いもうと)(かたき)だ!(なん)(まん)(にん)だろうが()(ごく)(おく)ってやる‼
        Imōto no kataki da! Nanmannin darō ga jigoku e okutte yaru‼
        This is for my sister! Keep coming, all of you! I’ll send you all straight to hell‼
      • 2014 January 17, Ōima Yoshitoki, “(だい)14() 西(にし)(みや)()(づる)”, in (こえ)(かたち) ((こえ)(かたち)), volume 2 (fiction), Tokyo: Kodansha, →ISBN, page 60:
        (なが)(つか)(くん) 「(しょう)(ねん)」じゃない…西(にし)(みや)(いもうと)だってよ
        Nagatsuka-kun “Shōnen” ja nai… Nishimiya no imōto da tte yo
        Nagatsuka-kun. That's not a "boy"… Nishimiya said that's her sister.
    2. the wife of one's younger brother; one's sister-in-law
      Synonym: 義妹 (gimai)
    3. a younger female
    4. (archaic, said from a male speaker) one's sister regardless of age difference
      Antonym: 兄人 (shōto)

    (alternative reading hiragana いもっ, rōmaji imo')

    1. (Kagoshima) younger sister
    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    いもと
    Grade: 2
    irregular

    Analyzed as a shortening of imōto, itself a compound (imo, sister, close female companion) +‎ (hito, person).[1][3][4][6]

    Appears in The Tale of Heiji, written around the mid-12th century.[3] May be much older, as this reading is also included in kun'yomi glosses for the Nihon Shoki of 720 (although the manuscripts with the glosses themselves are not as old).[1]

    Noun[edit]

    (いもと) (imoto

    1. (rare) Same as いもうと (imōto) above

    Proper noun[edit]

    (いもと) (Imoto

    1. a placename

    Etymology 4[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    まい
    Grade: 2
    goon

    From Middle Chinese (MC mwojH).

    Affix[edit]

    (まい) (mai

    1. Same as いもうと (imōto) above

    Proper noun[edit]

    (まい) (Mai

    1. a female given name

    References[edit]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kindaichi, Kyōsuke et al., editors (1997), 新明解国語辞典 (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 (in Japanese), Third edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    4. 4.0 4.1 ”, in デジタル大辞泉[2] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
    5. ^ NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK Publishing, →ISBN
    6. ^ Shinmura, Izuru, editor (1998), 広辞苑 (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, →ISBN

    Korean[edit]

    Hanja[edit]

    (eumhun 누이 (nu'i mae))

    1. Hanja form? of (younger sister).

    Old Japanese[edit]

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Speculatively, may be related to terms such as (me1, womi1na, woman), (omi1na, elderly woman), and (omo1, mother), wherein the medial /-m-/ appears to signify woman, female.[1] However, the difference in vowel values presents a difficulty.

    Noun[edit]

    (imo1 → imo) (kana いも)

    1. said from a male speaker:
      1. one's sister regardless of age difference
        • c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 6, poem 1007:
          , text here
          言不問木尚與兄有云乎直獨子尓有之苦者
          ko2to2 to1panu ki2 sura imo to2 se ari to2 ipu wo tada pi1to2riko1 ni aru ga kurusisa
          (please add an English translation of this usage example)
      2. one's lover or sweetheart who is the subject of marriage or is already married
        • c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 3, poem 464:
          , text here
          秋去者見乍思跡之殖之屋前乃石竹開家流香聞
          aki1 saraba mi1tutu sino1pe1 to2 imo ga uwesi nipa no2 nadesiko1 saki1nike1ru ka mo
          (please add an English translation of this usage example)
    2. said from a female speaker:
      1. a close female companion
        • c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 4, poem 782:
          , text here
          風高邊者雖吹為袖左倍所沾而苅流玉藻焉
          kaze takaku pe1 ni pa pukedo2mo imo ga tame2 so1de sape2 nurete kareru tamamo so2
          (please add an English translation of this usage example)
      2. one's sister regardless of age difference
    3. a daughter
      • 711–712, Kojiki, (poem 51):
        ...母登弊波岐美袁淤母比傅須恵幣波伊毛袁淤母比傅...
        ...mo2to2pe1 pa ki1mi1 wo omo2pi1de suwepe1 pa imo1 wo omo2pi1de...
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    Antonyms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]
    Descendants[edit]
    • Japanese: (imo)

    Etymology 2[edit]

    Shortening of imo1,[1][2][3] due possibly to poetic reasons, haplology, or a reduction of vowel clusters to avoid hiatus, which was phonologically prohibited in Old Japanese. This hiatus avoidance is also seen in 吾妹 (wagi1mo1), which would otherwise have been wa ga imo1.

    Noun[edit]

    (mo1 → mo) (kana )

    1. same as いも (imo1) above
      • c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 20, poem 4388:
        , text here
        多妣等弊等麻多妣爾奈理奴以弊乃加枳世之己呂母爾阿加都枳爾迦理
        tabi1 to2 pe1do2 ma-tabi1 ni narinu ipe1 no2 mo ga ki1sesi ko2ro2mo ni aka tuki1nikari
        (please add an English translation of this usage example)

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Eastern dialectal variant of imo1.[1]

    Noun[edit]

    (imu) (kana いむ)

    1. (regional, Eastern Old Japanese) Same as いも (imo1) above
      • c. 759, Man’yōshū, book 20, poem 4321:
        , text here
        可之古伎夜美許等加我布理阿須由利也加曳我牟多祢牟伊牟奈之爾志弖
        kasiko1ki1 ya mi1-ko2to2 kagapuri asu yuri ya kaye ga muta nemu imu nasi ni site
        (please add an English translation of this usage example)

    References[edit]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[3] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000
    2. ^ ”, in デジタル大辞泉[4] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
    3. ^ Shinmura, Izuru, editor (1998), 広辞苑 (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, →ISBN

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    : Hán Nôm readings: muội

    1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.