Koban - 1839 and 1903

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Feb 2 14:27:19 UTC 2013

So 'koban" = "some kind of coin" or "police-station / office of police".

I am reminded of "piss-house", which = "privy" or
"police station".  (And "insulting name".)


At 2/1/2013 10:28 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:

>1. The earliest citation I find for koban
>(<Japanese 小判, the coin) is 1839 (http://ow.ly/hlSKj)
>The Asiatic journal and monthly register for
>British and foreign India, China and Australasia, Volume 29:
>The peasant's hospitality is rewarded by the
>present of a Japanese gold coin, called a _koban_, and worth £1.6s. 6d.
>This meaning is in Wiktionary
>(http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/koban), but not the OED or AHD.
>2. For kōban (< Japanese 交番, police box),
>Basil Hall Chamberlain and W.B. Mason mention it
>as a gloss for "police-station" in 1901 at http://ow.ly/hlT1b.
>In 1903, the word appears italicized and glossed
>as "office" with reference to the police (http://ow.ly/hlT8y):
>Here you always find two policemen--one on duty,
>walking up and down the street, the other in the _koban_ (office) resting.
>This meaning is in Wikipedia
>(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dban), but not the OED, AHD or Wiktionary.
>Benjamin Barrett
>Seattle, WA
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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