Nuance of saying "同い年"? And, it is 当て字?


If saying 同{おな}い年{どし} in daily conversation is just something you'd say without thinking twice, then I have no further questions.

But, doesn't saying 同い年 sound sort of stand-offish. Saying 同い年 is a hint to the listener that he is misunderstanding our level of friendship.

My asking question to Empress Michiko at お茶会

(私): "その二人子、同い年ですか。

This is normal usage.

My sister-in-law asking me a question at お寿司屋さん

(義理姉さん response #1): "その二人子、年齢が一緒ですか。
(義理姉さん response #2): "その二人子、同い年ですか。

I'd expect response #1.
Hearing #2, I'd be like that was completely uncalled for. What is her problem? If she wants to keep her distance, then so be it.

同い年 is considered 当て字, right? I've never seen a word made 当て字 by its 送りがな.


Posted 2016-04-22T15:21:39.947

Reputation: 617

1I don't understand what's wrong with 同い年. It's a standard word. – strawberry jam – 2016-04-22T15:43:08.200

If you think about it, the only part of 「同{おな}い年{どし}」 that doesn't fit the usual reading (「い」 rather than 「じ」) is written with kana, so I suppose technically the kanji are used normally. The 常用漢字表 lists it as an example under the reading おなじ without making any kind of special note. – snailcar – 2016-04-22T15:54:31.080

1@strawberryjam Not if it is a "standard" word. For example, while still using "standard" English, I can adjust my vocab and sentence structures to make it clear I don't consider the listener a close friend. – konishiki – 2016-04-22T15:57:28.183

@konishiki standard word as in no nuance – strawberry jam – 2016-04-22T16:02:20.300

@snailboat I just feel that how a word is written in Japanese sometimes communicates meaning up to the nuance of speaking it (but English spelling sure doesn't ex: "Mississippi.) Seeing how "同い年" is written and then the context I learned it in made my ears perk-up. But, I was definitely wrong. thanks. – konishiki – 2016-04-22T16:19:35.047

1「その二人子」はどういう意味ですか? Did you mean to write 「その二人は、同い年ですか?」? If talking to Empress Michiko it'd be better to say そちらのお二人は、同い年でいらっしゃいますか? – Chocolate – 2016-04-22T16:41:38.650

I think 同い年 is イ音便 of 同じ年... Sorry if I'm wrong

– Chocolate – 2016-04-22T17:05:20.693

同じ年 is made of two words 同じ and 年. 同い年 is one word. That is a common word. It seems that it is used by students mainly. Incidentally, 同じ has various way of speaking. おなし, おんなじ – nariuji – 2016-04-22T17:55:21.113

@chocolate Without realizing it, most natives want speed from their non-natives. So, I'd thought "二人子" is an ok version of "二人の子ども"??? "二人子" helps stay in rhythm because you get it out with a quick exhale and no lip movement. Native Japanese sounds so wonderful. My Japanese sounds like fingernails of a chalkboard, but I' still trying. – konishiki – 2016-04-22T20:03:21.890



同い年 is the sound change of 同じ年(same age). And 同い年 is often used as 同じ学年(same grade in school).

Yuuichi Tam

Posted 2016-04-22T15:21:39.947

Reputation: 22 606

Would you use 同い年 in a daily conversation? There is no nuance? – konishiki – 2016-04-22T16:04:05.290

Yes, 同い年 is common but it has often a nuance like "same grade in school" as I answered. – Yuuichi Tam – 2016-04-22T16:08:44.857