Nyōbō kotoba

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Nyōbō kotoba (女房言葉 or 女房詞 lit. Wife's dialect?) was a cant that was originally used by Japanese court ladies during the Muromachi era, and subsequently spread and came to be thought of as a general women's language. It consisted primarily of a special vocabulary of words for food, clothing, and other household items.

Many nyōbō kotoba words were formed by adding the prefix o-, which indicates politeness, or by dropping part of a word and adding -moji, meaning "character, letter".

Some nyōbō kotoba words passed into general usage, and are today part of the standard Japanese language.

Examples[edit]

Source Nyōbō kotoba Meaning
強飯 kowameshi okowa rice with red beans
kawaya okawa toilet
naka "middle" onaka stomach
鳴らす narasu "to sound" onara fart
奥様 okusama okumoji wife
kami kamoji hair
koi komoji carp
杓子 shakushi shamoji rice scoop
寿司 sushi sumoji, osumoji sushi

See also[edit]