Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Jan 7 02:26:52 UTC 2013

On Jan 6, 2013, at 6:20 PM, Benjamin Barrett <benjaminbarrett85 at> wrote:

> On Jan 6, 2013, at 6:11 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
>> At 1/6/2013 08:51 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>> On that page, TootsNYC seems to think that kowtowing is bowing. Is
>>> that how kowtowing is commonly understood?
>> For me, depends on context.  Sense a. (To perform the kowtow) vs.
>> sense b. (To act in an obsequious manner).  I imagine the latter is
>> more common, but I know the former.
> I mean merely bowing as opposed to kneeling on the ground and knocking your head on the ground (literally 叩頭 koutou = hit head).

I should have looked that up. Evidently the word is also used to mean bow deeply in Mandarin as well (

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society -

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