And kanji with manga
Friday, May 3, 2019

otoko 男, 漢

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, otoko 男 means a "man," and otoko 漢 means a "MAN." A man among men. Whose pride, bravery, and dignity is unrivaled.

This, of course, isn't an actual word. It's a meme. It shows up in manga and anime from time to time.

Normally, "man" in Japanese is spelled otoko 男, as seen in words like:
  • {otoko no} ko

    A child [who] {is a man}.
    A {male} child.
    A boy.

The manga slang otoko 漢 is an ateji, that is, we're spelling with a certain kanji a word that doesn't have kanji or is normally spelled with different kanji.

In this case, 漢 is the kanji for "man" in Chinese. Normally, it can only be read as kan 漢 in Japanese, like in chikan 痴漢, "foolish man," "molester."

Another manga ateji is otokonoko 男の娘, "trap."

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