[Ads-l] Umeboshi, ume, umejiso

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 21 04:04:47 UTC 2016

On 27 February 1998, Daniel Long asked this list (http://bit.ly/1Pq7jY5) about the borrowing of the South African English word mebos from Japanese umeboshi, and Mark Mandel confirmed the usage. 

The Oxford Dictionary site does not list “umeboshi” as a headword, but about mebos, the Oxford Dictionary site (http://bit.ly/23g6Dic) does say, "A confection made from apricots dried, flattened or pulped, and preserved in salt and sugar”, but incorrectly says that the fruit used in umeboshi is the plum.

The Wikipedia article on umeboshi (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umeboshi) also claims the word traveled from Japan to SA via the Dutch, and says that the apricot is used in SA.

Last year, I heard that Japanese umeboshi are often made from apricots instead of ume (a word also not in the Oxford Dictionary site). The other day, I was talking with someone in his mid-60s who said as a child, umeboshi were regularly made from apricots.

The English Wikipedia entry on umeboshi does not mention this, but the Japanese version (http://bit.ly/1T71Hry) does. 

Another ume word is “umejiso,” meaning umeboshi + shiso. It has not made its way to Wikipedia or the Oxford Dictionary site, though Epicurus (http://bit.ly/1PGph91) and the Wikipedia Commons (http://bit.ly/1PiY1mJ) both have it.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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