The Meaning of 河豚

  • The Meaning of 河豚


    In my post yesterday, I introduced the word iruka (イルカ/海豚), which means “dolphin.”
    昨日は、”dolphin” を意味する「海豚(イルカ)」を紹介しました。

    The literal meaning of the Chinese characters 海豚 is “sea pig.”
    「海豚」の漢字の文字どおりの意味は “sea pig” です。

    On the other hand, there is also the word 河豚, which uses the character 河 for “river,” instead of the character 海 for “sea.”
    一方、”sea” を意味する漢字「海」の代わりに、”river” を意味する漢字「河」を使った「河豚」という言葉もあります。

    The literal meaning of 河豚 is “river pig,” but it is read as fugu (フグ) and means “pufferfish.”
    文字どおりの意味は “river pig” ですが、実際には「フグ」と読み、 “pufferfish” を意味します。

    It is said that the character 河 is used because the common pufferfish in China (obscure pufferfish) live in freshwater such as the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

    In addition, there are mainly two theories on why the character 豚 was used. One is that the swollen figure seems to be a pig, and the other is that the menacing voice is similar to the cry of a pig.

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