October 18, 2017

折り紙つき certified to be good

kotoba no gogen
The Origin of Words

折り紙つき origami tsuki

There was a popular NHK Word game show which showcased the etymology of a word each week. I wanted to start a section on the origins of some words (言葉の語源 kotoba no gogen ) and thought I’d start with today’s word:

Meaning: something very nice; certified to be good



kono resutoran no piza wa, origami tsuki no oishisa desu.
this-restaurant-‘s-pizza-as for-guarantee-‘s-tastiness-is.
I guarantee you’ll love the pizza in this restaurant.

Origin: It actually has nothing to do with origami as we know it today. This "origami" refers to an official document certifying the authenticity of a sword (刀の鑑定書 katana no kanteisho). The tsuki means the sword comes with this guaranteed certificate. This paper was folded and thus called "ori" (to fold) "kami" (paper). It is now used to refer to objects in general.

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