Blang blang blang

丁々発止
chou.chou.has-.shi

Literally: *chou – *chou – emit – stop

Alternately: The sound of clashing swords; an argument as fierce as if it were a life-or-death sword fight.

Notes: has a number of meanings, such as a street or a ward of a town. It’s also used as a counter-word for a number of objects and as a signifier for the fourth item in an ordered series (along with , , and ) in the same way that the letter D might be in English. The character doesn’t actually have a pronunciation of its own. It serves as a doubling mark to show that a kanji is repeated, so here 丁々 is identical to 丁丁. That said, none of that matters here: the character seems to be used purely phonetically in this phrase.

Similarly, although I give the most common meaning of the latter two characters, and 発止 seems like it might mean something that fits the content of the yojijukugo as stated… they too are purely onomatopoetic. It turns out that 発止 is a case of ateji, characters applied phonetically without regard to their meaning, and so hasshi is simply a sound that my dictionary describes as “with a loud clack.” So in the end, today’s four-character compound is probably best represented on a literal level as “clash clash clang.” Isn’t Japanese great?

Tedd's Dad is rarely-mined gold.

Yes, this is self-referential; there wasn’t anything good coming out of Google Image Search. Picture stolen from El Goonish Shive and altered slightly.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
This entry was posted in Japanese, Yojijukugo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Blang blang blang

  1. locksleyu says:

    Haven’t heard this compound before, thanks!

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