ボク, しもべ

me, I (male)

JLPT1 G7 S14 F1236

The relevant oracle bone form of 菐# depicts a rough slave/servant spreading his arms in falling prostrate. Distinguish 菐 from (stand with notched wooden supports on both ends) and note that the present-day meaning of 菐 (thicket) is borrowed from the graphically similar . A needle (suggesting the blinding of slaves: compare 艮, , and ) hangs over the slave's head, and a tail is appended to lay unqualified stress on the near-animal nature of a slave's lowly status. adds person for emphasis/clarification → *servant* (person of low birth and rough manners) → humble reference to self → *I* (← casual masculine reference to self).

[Return to Full Kanji List]