EssayEtymologyJapanese traditionUncorrected

Oyasumi (おやすみ – Good Night)

  • Oyasumi


    The most common phrase used when you go to bed in Japan is ‘oyasumi‘ (おやすみ).

    If you want to be a little more polite, you can say ‘oyasuminasai‘ (おやすみなさい) by adding ‘nasai’ (なさい).

    O‘ (お) is a polite prefix, ‘yasumi‘ (やすみ) means “to rest,” and ‘nasai‘ is short for ‘nasatte kudasai‘ (なさって下さい), which means “please do that.”
    「お」は丁寧の接頭辞、「やすみ」は “rest,” 「なさい」は “please do that” を意味する「なさって下さい」を省略した語です。

    That is to say, the literal meaning of ‘oyasuminasai’ is “Please get rest.”
    すなわち「おやすみなさい」は “Please get rest” という意味になります。

    You can use this phrase not only when you go to bed but also when you say goodbye to someone at night.

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