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Manako (まなこ – Eye)

  • Manako


    The most common Japanese word that means “eye” is “me” (め/目), but you can also use another word “manako” (まなこ/眼).
    “Eye” を意味する日本語は「目」ですが、「まなこ」と言うこともあります。

    The “ma” (ま) of “manako” a changed form of “me” (目 – eye), the “na” (な) means “of,” and the “ko” (こ) means “child.”
    「ま」は「目」が複合語の中で用いられる時の形であり、「な」は “of,” 「こ」は “child” を意味します。

    Therefore, the literal meaning of “manako” is a “child of your eye.”
    すなわち「まなこ」の文字どおりの意味は “child of your eye” (目の子) となります。

    This comes from the fact that “manako” was used to mean just a black part of your eye.

    Incidentally, the pronunciation of “namako” (ナマコ) is very similar to “manako” (まなこ – eye), but “namako” means “sea cucumber.”
    ちなみに、「まなこ」と「なまこ」はよく似ていますが、「なまこ」は “sea cucumber” を意味します

    Original sentence