Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue Aug 28 15:29:15 UTC 2001

--On Tuesday, August 28, 2001 9:48 am -0500 Beth Campbell
<besuchan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> I was studying some Japanese kanji in this books, and under each symbol,
> it would give several examples of words using the symbol.   Well, one of
> the example words was the word 'jinrikisha,' meaning 'rickshaw.'  if you
> break down the individual words, 'jin' means 'person,' 'riki' means
> 'strenghth/power' and 'sha' means 'vehicle.'  I noticed how close the last
> part of the word '--rikisha' sounded to 'rickshaw.'  Could this possibly
> be a mispronunciation of the word, borrowed from Japanese?  Does anyone
> know anything about this word?

Generally, a dictionary is a good first source for such information.
Indeed, the American Heritage (4th ed.) defines 'ricksha(w)' as 'a
jinriksha' and the entry for 'jinriksha' gives the etymology, directly from
Japanese, and further back to Middle Chinese.  Most good English
dictionaries would give you similar info.


M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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