EssayEtymologyJapanese traditionUncorrected

Nazonazo (なぞなぞ – Riddle)

  • Nazonazo


    When I was a child, I liked nazonazo (なぞなぞ).

    Nazonazo is a kind of games that someone says a problem statement including a hidden meaning and others try to guess that — it is often translated into English as “riddle.”
    「なぞなぞ」とは、言葉や文章の中にある意味を隠して問いかけ、その意味を当てる遊びのことで、英語ではよく “riddle” と訳されます。

    Nazo (なぞ/謎) means “mystery” or “enigma,” and the term nazonazo was borne by repeating it.
    「なぞ/謎」は “mystery” や “enigma” を意味する言葉で、これを繰り返すことで「なぞなぞ」という言葉が生まれました。

    I think that the most famous nazonazo in Japan is:

    Pan wa pan demo taberare-nai pan wa? (パンはパンでも食べられないパンは? – “What kind of bread you can’t eat?”)

    The classic answer is furai-pan (フライパン – “frying pan”).

    Note that “bread” and “frying pan” are pan (パン) and furai-pan (フライパン) in Japanese, respectively.
    「フライパン」は英語で “frying pan” ですが、「パン」は英語で “bread” である点に気をつけてください。

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