Shigo (死語 – Dead Language/Word)

  • Shigo


    In my post yesterday, I used the Japanese word ‘shigo‘ (死語).

    Since ‘shi‘ (死) means “death/dead” and ‘go‘ (語) means “word/language,” the literal meaning of ‘shigo’ is “dead word” or “dead language.”
    「死」は “death/dead”、「語」は “word/language” を意味するので、「死語」の文字どおりの意味は “dead word/dead language” となります。

    In linguistics, ‘shigo’ means a dead language that no one uses, but it is also used to mean a dead word that people rarely use or an antiquated word.

    If you want to mean the latter two, you can use ‘haigo’ (廃語 – literally means “obsolete word”), but I think that ‘shigo’ is more used than ‘haigo’ on a daily basis.

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