How to say Wife in Japanese?

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In Japanese there are different ways of referring to a spouse or partner. In this article, we will look at some of these ways, their meanings and their differences. Ready to learn how to say wife in Japanese?

There are many ways to say wife in Japanese, below you will see many of these ways, their meanings and their differences. One of the main differences is that there are words used to refer to one's spouse or the spouse of other people.

Tsuma – My Wife

Tsuma [妻] is the term better known as wife mainly by Japanese language students, but they should be aware that this term is only used to refer to one's own wife. This is because the word also carries a romantic and embellished connotation, something like my darling, my honey.

Usually the garnish served with sashimi is also called tsuma, this is because the word is also used to refer to something that is next to it. Historically the word tsuma has been used to refer to both husband and wife.

The word makes perfect sense, its origin comes from [端] which means side and edge, indicating the person next to it, that is, the spouse. Another way to read the ideogram of wife is leaves [妻] which can be used in the formation of other words like:

  • Saishi [妻子] – Wife and children, formerly wife;
  • Saitai [妻帯] – To have a wife, to marry;
  • Saisho [妻女] – Wife, Wife and children;
  • Saishou [妻妾] – Wife and lover;
  • Tsuma no Mikoto [妻の命] – You (spouse);
  • Gensai [幻妻] – Wife; Woman (derogatory); prostitute;
  • gusai [愚妻] – Archaic Wife;
How to say wife in Japanese?

Okusan – Wife

A common way of referring to your wife is using the term oksan [奥さん] which can also be used to refer to other people's wives or married women. It is a respectful honorific sonkeigo, but its origin is controversial.

ok [奥] means at the back and in this case at the back of the house. Then oksan refers to someone who stays at the back of the house and does not go out to the front, someone who is hidden. This concept came from the Sengoku Period where women stayed inside the castle at the back and served their master there. shujin [主人].

According to the dictionary, ok-san or oku-sama is also a common nickname for middle-aged women. It's common to see men calling women they don't know the name of. oksan. The act of doing things for the wife is called okusankouko [奥さん孝行].

How to say wife in Japanese?

Kanai – Home Wife

Another similar term is kanai [家内] which can refer to wife in the humble way kenjougo which is commonly written in hiragana. The word literally means indoors, which describes the role of the woman and her running around the house.

Kanai can also refer to someone's family, which can be seen in the famous amulet kanaianzen [家内安全] which serves to protect the family from danger. Even though it's a term used for one's own wife, this word can be offensive to some.

I think if feminists read this article they will freak out, but many of these words are respectful and sweet to Japanese women. Don't be put off by the origin of the words otherwise you will go crazy if you research the origins of Portuguese words.

How to say wife in Japanese?

Nyoubou – From Maid to Wife

The word nyoubou [女房] originally referred to high-class women who worked in the Japanese Imperial Court. As might be expected, some ended up in bed with some local men. The word literally means woman of the room [房].

bou it is a type of room in which they served the guests and took care of the Princess or the Emperor. They got that name because they were given their own room on site. Over time, this term was used to refer to wives.

The term is only used to refer to one's own wife. Some may not like this term due to its origins. Sometimes the term is used with the woman you live with, without any marriage bond.

How to say wife in Japanese?

Oyomesan – Bride

despite the word oyomesan meaning bride, can also refer to his own wife after marriage, but on rare occasions. Written with ideogram [嫁] yome or yomesan can also be used to refer to daughter-in-law.

In the Kansai area of Osaka and Kyoto such usage for wife is common, you may hear something like “uchi no yome“, a popular expression among manzai comedians. Another archaic way of calling a wife or bride is wakoto [我事].

To be more specific, we call the bride the bride using the expression hanayome [花嫁] so much so that when searching for yome and hanayome on Google images you will see a lot of difference in the clothes. We also have words like shinbu [新婦].

How to say wife in Japanese?

Other ways to say Wife in Japanese

Below we will see other ways to say wife in the Japanese language:

  • Bujin [夫人] – Wife; Mrs; Madame; Wife of a nobleman;
  • Kami-san [上さん] – Wife, usually of local merchants or chiefs;
  • fuufu [夫婦] – Husband and Wife;
  • Kaasan [母さん] – Despite being a mother, it can refer to one's own wife;
  • Kakaa [嬶] – Wife;

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