米国

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See also: 美國 and 米國

Chinese[edit]

For pronunciation and definitions of – see 米國 (“the United States of America; etc.”).
(This term is the simplified form of 米國).
Notes:

Japanese[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term
べい
Grade: 2
こく
Grade: 2
kan’on on’yomi
Alternative spelling
米國 (kyūjitai)

Appears to be a coinage in Japanese of Middle Chinese derived elements, as a compound of (bei, rice) +‎ (koku, country).

First cited in Japanese in the 1603 edition of the 日葡辞書 (Nippo Jisho, Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary, formal title: “Vocabulario da Lingoa de Iapam”).[1][2] The original meaning was literally "rice country", in reference to any country rich in rice.

By 1819, the sense expanded to include countries that were major rice exporters.

The "America" sense is cited first in 1869.[1]

  • This is often explained as using the (rice) character as a shortening of the phonetic kanji spelling 亜米利加 (Amerika, America),[1][3][4][5][6] purportedly as used in the 1854 Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity.[7]
  • However, the Japanese text of the treaty does not actually include this spelling, rendering this instead as either 米利堅 (Meriken, apparent clipping of “American”) or 亞墨利加 (Amerika).[8][9]
  • Considering that 米利堅 (Meriken) was a common form of the country name from the time of the 1854 treaty up through the early 1900s,[10] this seems the more likely source of the character.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

(べい)(こく) (beikoku

  1. [from 1819] (archaic, possibly obsolete) a country that is an exporter of rice
  2. [1603–1800s] (probably obsolete) a country that is rich in rice

Proper noun[edit]

(べい)(こく) (Beikoku

  1. [from 1869] United States of America (a country in North America)
    Synonyms: アメリカ (Amerika), 米利堅 (Meriken, archaic)
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Kanji in this term
こめ
Grade: 2
くに > ぐに
Grade: 2
kun’yomi
Alternative spelling
米國 (kyūjitai)

Compound of (kome, rice) +‎ (kuni, country).[1] The kuni changes to guni as an instance of rendaku (連濁).

First cited in Japanese in the 1603 edition of the 日葡辞書 (Nippo Jisho, Japanese-Portuguese Dictionary, formal title: “Vocabulario da Lingoa de Iapam”).[1][2] The original meaning was literally "rice country", in reference to any country rich in rice.

By 1819, the sense expanded to include countries that were major rice exporters.

This reading appears to be obsolete in modern Japanese.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [ko̞me̞ɡɯ̟ᵝɲ̟i]

Noun[edit]

(こめ)(ぐに) (komeguni

  1. [1603–1800s] (probably obsolete) a country that is rich in rice
  2. [1819–???] (archaic, possibly obsolete) a country that is an exporter of rice

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 米国”, 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 Ishizuka, Harumichi (1976 [1603]) 日葡辞書: パリ本 [Nippo Jisho: Paris edition / Vocabulary of the Language of Japan]‎[2] (in ja, pt), Tōkyō: Bensei Publishing, entry available online here, appearing as Beicocu. Comeguni. Right-hand column, second full entry.
  3. ^ 米国”, in デジタル大辞泉 [Digital Daijisen]‎[3] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, updated roughly every four months
  4. ^ Shinmura, Izuru, editor (1998) 広辞苑 [Kōjien] (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, →ISBN
  5. ^ Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006) 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kindaichi, Kyōsuke et al., editors (1997) 新明解国語辞典 [Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten] (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  7. ^ アメリカ合衆国”, in 世界大百科事典 第2版 (Sekai Dai-hyakka Jiten Dainihan, Heibonsha World Encyclopedia Second Edition)[4] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Heibonsha, 1998
  8. ^ "Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity", National Diet Library Digital Collections. Scanned copy available online here. Images, paged but not searchable. Retrieved 2022-12-22.
  9. ^ "Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity", full searchable text available at Japanese Wikisource.
  10. ^ 米利堅”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[5] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000
  11. ^ NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998) NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK Publishing, →ISBN