And kanji with manga
Thursday, April 30, 2020

"Horn" in Japanese

There are various ways to say "horn" in Japanese, depending on what you mean.

Animal Horn

The word for an animal "horn" in Japanese is tsuno. This includes "horns" in the plural. The word tsuno can also refer to horn-like protrusions in animals, like the tentacles of a snail.
  • tsuno ga haeru
    角が生える
    Horns sprout. (phrase used when something grows horns.)

なんかツノ生えたー!! あと尻尾!! 生えてる はえそろってるーー 意思でうごくーー!!
Manga: Machikado Mazoku まちカドまぞく (Volume 1, Page 10, 体で学べるてこの原理)
  • Context: Yoshida Yuuko 吉田優子, Shamiko シャミ子, grew horns and a tail overnight.
  • nanka tsuno haeta--!!
    なんかツノ生えたー!!
    Horns sprouted [out]!!
  • ato shippo!!
    あと尻尾!!
    [Also] a tail!!
  • haeteru
    生えてる
    [They're] sprouted. (literally.)
  • hae-sorotteru--
    はえそろってるー
    [They're both] sprouted.
    • A compound verb from haeru and sorou 揃う, "to complete [a set]," in the sense that horns and tail sprouted as a full set.
  • ishi de ugoku--!!
    意思で動くー!!
    [They] move by will--!! (literally)
    • In the sense Shamiko can move them like she can move a limb, i.e. they're part of her body.

Note that tsuno 角 is homonymous with kado 角, which means a "corner" of something instead.

Also, "tusks," which also protrude from an animal's head, are called kiba instead.
  • zouge
    象牙
    Elephant tusks. (from which ivory is made.)

Horned

You can say something has horns sprouting out of their heads or not using the the verb haeru 生える in the te-iru form.
  • akuma wa tsuno ga haete-iru
    悪魔は角が生えている
    Demons [have] horns sprouting [on their heads]. (double subject construction.)
  • ningen wa tsuno ga haete-inai
    人間は角が生えていない
    Humans [have] horns not sprouting [on their heads].
  • {atama ni tsuno ga haete-iru} hito
    頭に角が生えている
    People [who] {[have] horns sprouting on [their] heads}.
    • {atama ni tsuno ga haete-iru} hito
      頭に角の生えている人
      (same meaning, no の subject marker.)

Or using existence verbs:
  • akuma wa tsuno ga aru
    悪魔は角がある
    Demons have horns.
  • ningen wa tsuno ga nai
    人間は角が無い
    Humans don't have horns.

Names of animals containing the word "horned" in English simply translate to Japanese as compound nouns including tsuno 角. For example:
  • tsuno-tokage
    角蜥蜴
    Horned lizard
  • tsuno-gaeru
    角蛙
    Horned frog.
    • kaeru

      Frog.

Horned girls in anime are called tsunokkoっ娘. Among them, the ones that are oni characters, are called onikko 鬼っ娘 instead.

Lum ラム, example of anime character with "fangs," kiba 牙.
Character: Lum ラム
Anime: Urusei Yatsura うる星やつら (Episode 1, 町に石油の雨がふる)

Hornet

Fun fact: etymologically, "hornet" originates "the one with horns (antennae)." (Proto-Indo-European)[hornet - en.wiktionary.org, accessed 2020-04-30]

Since Japanese isn't an Indo-European language it doesn't translate at all.
  • suzume-bachi
    雀蜂
    Hornet.
    • suzume

      Sparrow. (the bird, not the pirate.)
    • hachi

      Bee.

Horny

Since it has multiple meanings in English, "horny" in Japanese can translate in various ways.

In the literal and unlikely sense of "like a horn":
  • tsuno-mitai
    角みたい
    Like a horn. (e.g. shaped.)
    • katai
      硬い
      Hard. (not soft.)
  • kakujou
    角状
    Horn-shaped.

In the likely and colloquial sense of feeling like doing sexual things:
  • monmon to suru
    悶々とする
    To feel distressed. (normal meaning.)
    To feel horny. (other meaning.)
    • seiteki na fuman
      性的な不満
      Sexual unsatisfaction. (i.e. to not be satisfied sexually.)
  • koufun suru
    興奮する
    To be excited. (in the general sense.)
    • seiteki na koufun
      性的な興奮
      Sexual excitement. Sexual arousal.

In the third sense, of something, like clothing, that makes you feel horny:
  • eroi
    エロい
    Sexy. Erotic.

Sound Horn

Conical animal horns were traditionally used to create sound instruments, which were also called "horns."
  • tsuno-bue
    角笛
    Horn-flute.
    • fue

      Flute. (fu ふ becomes bu ぶ due to rendaku.)

Trumpet

The word rappa 喇叭 is how you say "trumpet" in Japanese.

In anime, most of the time a rappa is involved, it has to do with angels announcing the start of the apocalypse.

Vehicle Horn

Broadly speaking, the term for a vehicle horn in Japanese is:
  • keiteki
    警笛
    Literally "alarm flute."
    • keioku-on
      警告
      Warning. Alert.
    • keikoku-on
      警告音
      Warning sound.
    • keionki
      警音器
  • keionki
    警音器
    Warning-sound-device. (typically refers to the ones used in boats.)
    • Not to be confused keionbu 軽音部, "light music club."

To say that a device is emitting sound, or that someone made the device emit a sound, that is, "to sound a horn," the ergative verb pair naru 鳴る, narasu 鳴らす is used.
  • keiteki ga naru
    警笛が鳴る
    The horn sounds off.
    The horn makes a sound.
  • keiteki wo narasu
    警笛を鳴らす
    To sound off the horn.
    To make the horn make a sound.

Car Horn

Specifically speaking, the term for a car horn in Japanese is:
  • kurakushon
    クラクション
    Klaxon. (katakanization.)
  • hoon
    ホーン
    Horn. (katakanization.)
    • kuruma no hoon
      車のホーン
      The horn of a car.

Siren

The word keiteki 警笛 can means "siren" in Japanese, but some more specific terms include:
  • sairen-on
    サイレン音
    Siren sound.
    • sairen no oto
      サイレンの音
      Sound of the siren. (same meaning.)

Sirens are used by:
  • keisatsu
    警察
    The police.
    • patokaa
      パトカー
      A patrol car.
  • kyuukyuusha
    救急車
    Ambulance.
  • shoubousha
    消防車
    Fire engine. Fire truck.

Lastly, the word "siren" can also mean a sea creature in Greek mythology that used its enchanting music and singing voice to attract sailors to their demise. This creature is often conflated with the mermaid.
  • seireen
    セイレーン
    Siren. (creature.)
    • Also pronounced with a short vowel.
    • Note the difference:
    • sairen イレン - device.
    • seiren イレン - creature.
  • ningyo
    人魚
    Person-fish. Mermaid. Merman.

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