What does さようなら (左様なら) have to do with "left"?

12

1

What is the relationship between 左様なら and 左? I assume there's some idiomatic meaning for "left" but how does it fit?

mmdanziger

Posted 2012-01-18T22:41:50.403

Reputation: 677

2The 左 is ateji, though 様 is not. – Zhen Lin – 2012-01-18T22:53:38.060

2ZhenLin's comment and cypher's answer is right. If it is 上 or 右, then it would mean something proceeding in the context as texts are written from top to bottom or right to left (in ancient times). But for 左, it does not have significant meaning. – None – 2012-01-19T00:12:52.987

@sawa, I don't understand. I realize that 左 (as 左記), 右記 and I guess also 上 have the meaning of "the preceding" or "the following" based on the old writing order. But if it's ateji, what difference does it make? – mmdanziger – 2012-01-19T08:41:59.600

1以上, 上記, 右記 are not ateji. – None – 2012-01-19T17:29:19.997

Do you mean that 上 and 右 are never used as ateji? – mmdanziger – 2012-01-20T11:13:20.720

1@mmdanziger I don't understand why you generalize like that. They are not ateji in the words I mentioned. They may be used in ateji in some other words. – None – 2012-01-20T20:18:11.550

Answers

13

According to this okwave post, さよう was originally written as 然様{さよう}. It says that さよう has the meaning of そのよう/そう and that the in 左様{さよう} is an 当{あ}て字{じ} (a Kanji used as a phonetic symbol, rather than for it's meaning.)

In other words, the meaning doesn't have anything to do with , it's uses that character because of it's reading/pronunciation.

cypher

Posted 2012-01-18T22:41:50.403

Reputation: 13 257