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Old 03-20-2014, 05:41 PM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
There's an attack in Ranma 1/2 called 火中天津甘栗拳. I can read the characters individually, but without kana I don't know how I'm supposed to pronounce it. I downloaded the original chapter but it isn't helping! I would love some help in this regard -



The big problem is for 火. Starting a word, it can be read as カ, コ, ひ, ほ so I don't know wtf that's supposed to be. To me it looks like フ or ラ.
Two things. First, as a general rule of thumb, compound words devoid of okurigana are read by their onyomi. I have to stress that this is a very general rule and that there are many, many exceptions, from 友達 to 竜巻. But when in doubt, go onyomi. Second, furigana are used to indicate how a word should be read -- but what does that mean, "how a word should be read"? It doesn't have to always mean "The sounds these letters make." It doesn't even have to mean "The meaning these printed words hold." Sometimes furigana are used to convey completely different information. And one of the most common cases of this, something you have going on here with your sample, is with martial arts moves in manga.

With martial arts moves in manga, it is very common for the attack name to be printed in Japanese first but for its "real reading" to be offered to the side in furigana. The Japanese name benefits the reader by offering what the attack actually means, especially when the real name of the attack is in a foreign language. Some examples include Dragon Dive from Hunter x Hunter (流星群 ryuuseigun simply means "meteor shower", it is the normal term for a meteor shower in Japanese; the name of Dragon Dive is a pun that changes one ryuu, 流, to another, 龍) and Sunlight Yellow Overdrive from JJBA (山吹き色の波紋疾走 means "Japanese yellow rose-colored ripple sprint", so basically it means the same thing as sunlight yellow overdrive, but would be read yamabuki'iro no hamonshissou). Since I think you'd appreciate a visual aid, two from Hunter x Hunter:


"What is the attack's name then?" you ask. It's the name you're already familiar with. Dragon Dive, Terpsichora, Sunlight Yellow Overdrive: the name given to the side, the name given by the furigana, is the attack's intended reading.

"What is the point of the Japanese name?" Again, it's there to offer a) a Japanese alternative in cases where the official name is from a foreign language and, regardless of this, it's there to offer b) additional information than would be gleaned from just the official name.

What may be confusing for you with the sample you provided is that it switches between using furigana as a transliteration tool (its most common role) and using furigana as a tool for intended readings/meanings. The line on the far right begins in this first capacity: 幻の神券 would be read maboroshi no shinken and is exactly the kana you find there to your right: まぼろし for 幻 and しんけん for 神券. But the second and third lines, the ones on the left and in the middle, switch over to using furigana to convey to the reader an attack name. So you have the Japanese reading in large print, 火中天津甘栗拳 (read かちゅうてんしんあまぐりけん), but then you have the actual name of the attack that readers are meant to familiarize themselves with in furigana: フォチョンティエンチンカンリイチュアン. Now I have absolutely no idea how that's meant to be read or what language it even is. I'd hazard a guess at Chinese given the sound of kanriichuan and tienchin but having never watched Ranma ˝ before I'm just taking an educated guess.

Martial arts moves in manga aren't the only instances of this use of furigana, but I'll save further explanations for another day.

Last edited by Talon87; 03-20-2014 at 06:01 PM. Reason: added a clarifying note
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:46 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
So you have the Japanese reading in large print, 火中天津甘栗拳 (read かちゅうてんしんあまぐりけん), but then you have the actual name of the attack that readers are meant to familiarize themselves with in furigana: フォチョンティエンチンカンリイチュアン.
Thanks for that. It agrees with what else I've found to read it, but why doesn't かちゅ become voiced to かぢゅ?
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:02 PM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Thanks for that. It agrees with what else I've found to read it, but why doesn't かちゅ become voiced to かぢゅ?
You need to make that a long vowel. It's かちゅう, not かちゅ.

I believe 中 is rarely voiced. One instance where it's voiced is when it's used as a grammatical suffix, e.g. 身体中 からだじゅう "throughout the entire body". Though do please note the distinction between its use as a suffix and its simply happening to be the second of two characters in a two-character word. Also be aware that 中 used as a suffix can also be voiceless. I'm just offering that it can be voiced when it shows up in words in like 身体中.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:48 AM   #229
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How do we pronounce 日食 (solar eclipse)?

I want to say nichishoku or nishishoku, but apparently it's nis'shoku (I believe).
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:56 AM   #230
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My dictionary says nisshoku.

There's a tendency for chi and tsu to become a double consonant when it's in the middle of kanji compounds, and it's pretty consistent too.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:00 AM   #231
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Just to add: it's not an always thing. Like Jeri says, it's a tendency. The following examples should help make this clear.
  • 日米 にちべい vs. 日食 にっしょく
  • 失礼 しつれい vs. 失敗 しっぱい and 失格 しっかく
  • 吸血鬼 きゅうけつき vs. 血漿 けっしょう
  • 決意 けつい vs. 決定 けってい
  • 結合 けつごう vs. 結界 けっかい
One pattern you may be able to discern from the above examples if you've got eagle eyes is ...

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There is a tendency towards the っ-ization pairing off with unvoiced consonants that follow and a tendency towards retaining the つ/ち when paired with voiced consonants or vowels that follow. Even then there are exceptions, some shown above. (E.g. 吸血鬼 きゅうけつき, not きゅうけっき,) But in general, this pattern ought to make some sense to you:
  • the glottal stop, っ, ceases all airflow into or out of the voice box. Thus, it is more comfortable to glide back into voicing sounds if an unvoiced consonant precedes than if a voiced consonant precedes. (Try saying しっぱい shippai vs. しっばい shibbai. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll notice the latter is slightly more awkward to produce than the former.)
  • vice versa, つ ends on a voiced sound (the vowel sound う) and thus naturally glides into other voiced sounds, e.g. 決意 けつい. Again, while it's by no means impossible to morph into an unvoiced consonant following つ, trying saying けつばい ketsubai vs. けつぱい ketsupai. If your experience is anything like mine, you can say both without much difficulty but the voiced ketsubai is slightly easier / slightly less awkward than the unvoiced ketsupai. The former flows like a river; the latter feels a bit more interrupted.
Will re-iterate that this isn't a hard and fast rule. Just a pattern.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:10 PM   #232
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OK peoples, time for a sound-off! Which romanization do you like best?

中火栗

chūkakuri
chūkaguri
chūbikuri
chūbiguri
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #233
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Either of the last two, but I can't comment on which one is the closest to the native pronunciation. Rendaku makes me think that chuubiguri would be correct but it's hard to have an intuition about how rendaku works as a non-native speaker, especially when linguists can't explain the pattern choices.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:35 PM   #234
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For clarification, I'm including hirigana a la what Talon illustrated earlier to provide a choice pronunciation of those four romanizations. It's supposed to be a name, so I want it to both 1) sound nice and 2) sound like a name, although the latter supersedes the former in importance.

The cute thing is, with different kanji for 火 like 夏 I could easily have it translate cleanly to "midsummer chestnut" or "chinese chestnut", but it has to be that kanji specifically.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:38 PM   #235
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Is it supposed to be a surname?

In the case of names, the pronunciation is much, much more freeform, though I'm sure there's still rules to it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:48 PM   #236
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Quote:
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Is it supposed to be a surname?

In the case of names, the pronunciation is much, much more freeform, though I'm sure there's still rules to it.
It is.

Apparently I can write it anyway I want, but I do want it to sound "authentic", which is saying a lot given (to me) it's an obviously constructed name. My intended translation is

"The Chestnut within the Fire".

I played around with using Kuri first but it gets to mouthful territory very quickly. 中 is very inflexible for pronunciations, with only chuu, naka, -naka or -juu working. I didn't like anything from the lot of:

Kurichuuga
Kurichuuka
Kurijuuga
Kurinakaka
Kurinakaga
Kurinakabi

Then again, I thought the same thing about the first name "Yumeiji" but that's wrong apparently!
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:28 PM   #237
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Kachuuritsu is what I would suggest for "the chestnut within the fire" as a given name. 火中栗.

First, it's not exactly common to hybridize onyomi with kunyomi. I'm not sure you could call it rare either, but it's definitely uncommon if not rare. Most words in Japanese are either all one reading or all the other. When you do get mixing, as was the case with the Ranma ˝ attack name you provided the other day, it's usually because the word/phrase is a collection of smaller words and some of these are standardized in one reading and others are standardized in another. But there are authentic cases of hybridization even within the shortest of words. You can read more about such hybrids here (English) or here (Japanese). Some very common words that are examples of this on-kun hybridization include 場所 basho "place; location", 台所 daidokoro "kitchen", and 番組 bangumi "[television, radio] program". But just because there are some common words which display such mixing does not mean that mixing itself is lexically common. So, something for you to keep in mind.

Most family names use kunyomi across the board. Names like 田中 Tanaka, 高橋 Takahashi, 大森 Oomori, 小川 Ogawa, and 島谷 Shimatani exhibit this common pattern. Less common (though not rare) are the names which go for mixed or full onyomi readings. Names like 勅使河原 Teshigawara (the 原's reading is kunyomi but the 使's and 河's readings are onyomi) or one of the most common Japanese family names of them all, 佐藤 Satou (full onyomi). Thus, Jeri is right that native names display all three patterns (full kun, full on, and a mixture of both) ... but in general, some made-up names are going to sound a lot more believable than others. It's not like you have total free reign to just make up whatever name you feel like and expect it to sound authentic to native speakers, as you already realize.

Second, to suggest "the _A_ within the _B_," the word order in Japanese would be B中A. Specifically with fire and chestnuts, we have this Japanese saying that illustrates this:
Quote:
火中の栗を拾う 【かちゅうのくりをひろう】 (exp,v5u) (id) (orig. from the fable The Monkey and the Cat by Jean de La Fontaine) to take a risk for someone; to endanger oneself for someone; to gather chestnuts from a fire
火中 means "within a/the fire". 火中の栗 thus is "chestnuts within a/the fire." And the full expression 火中の栗を拾う becomes "to gather chestnuts within a fire." If you were to want to morph the の phrase of 火中の栗 into one compound word, it would be 火中栗, not 中火栗 or similar.

中火 (read chuubi) already has a meaning of its own: a flame of medium intensity in cooking.

To my ear, if you were to say kachuu kuri, it sounds exactly as I've typed it: two separate words, conversational in usage. If instead you employ the onyomi for chestnut, at least to me it merges it all into one large word, kachuuritsu, which is then usable as a family name. That's why I suggest Kachuuritsu over Kachuukuri or Kachuuguri. But if you really love the sound of one of the latter two over the former, then I don't think you'd be flat out denied the right to pursue it. It just ... to me, at least, it doesn't sound as authentic. *shrug*
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:03 PM   #238
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Does on/kun non-mixing apply to normal words/titles too?

For example, are 魔道元帥ゼルレッチ or 妖精姫 unusual?
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:09 PM   #239
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In this case it's not really on/kun mixing, especially in the second case. They're more of a compound word than they are two kanji put together to form a new one. Both 妖精 and 姫 are stand-alone words, one just uses on-yomi and the other uses kun-yomi. I'm not sure what you mean about the first case; from what I can tell, all the kanji use on-yomi readings.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:10 PM   #240
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I just beefed on the Zelretch one, I knew Gensui was on-yomi but I was surprised ma in this case wasn't.

Here's another something I noticed...despite how commonly it's dropped the word "saiyaku" actually looks pretty intimidating in Japanese! It helps that the character 災 looks like a bomb went off. 火 looks like a fire to me anyway, and 巛 like smoke, so the analogy keeps.

But I don't really understand 災厄. It looks like another case of redundancy (for emphasis?) to me, unlike the earlier case of the flowers and counters where the counter was necessary to indicate the number of flowers.

災 = Disaster, Evil, Misfortune, Woe
厄 = Disaster, Evil, Misfortune

災厄 = calamity/disaster, but doesn't really strike me as greater than the sum of the parts.

I mean if you stuck 大 in front of something it's bigger, badder and sometimes more boastful. I don't see the case with 災厄, although sai kind of sounds similar to 大. Is that the reason for it? To evoke a "huge" calamity/disaster? Or does it just sound like more of a word as "saiyaku"? I can definitely admit it's more fun to say "saiyaku" than "sai" or "yaku" much like how "sucks" is less fun than "Dude, that fudging blows."
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:26 PM   #241
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A number of words that encapsulate a basic concept often use two repetitive kanji. It's a tendency of Chinese that was imported into Japanese; you'll find that often older words have this redundancy, whereas (relative) neologisms are more keen on putting together two distinct kanji to form a new word by merging their meanings.

For example, 機械 (kikai, machine) is formed from two kanji that both mean machine in some sense. 機 is often found tacked onto words to mean "machine that does X" (e.g. 飛行機, lit. machine that flies, airplane 掃除機, lit. machine that cleans, vacuum). 械 is found much less frequently, and almost always with 機, but in the other contexts it is found, you see it realized as something like "mechanism", "contraption" (my dictionary is fond of 器械 きかい 1: machine; mechanism; 2: instrument; appliance; apparatus, which it gives as the first option when this kanji is searched for). They both have similar meanings, but when they're put together, they represent the most general realization of both their meanings, anything that might be a "machine", whether it flies or cleans or does anything else machine-like.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:29 PM   #242
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The word you're thinking of is 最悪 / さいあく / saiaku. It sounds similar to 災厄 / さいやく / saiyaku, but it's 最悪 that's the one which means "the worst" as in the expression "This is the worst!"

最 is the superlative prefix. Common words you'll have heard it on:
  • 最高 さいこう "the greatest, the coolest, the best"
  • 最低 さいてい "the worst"
  • 最近 さいきん "recently" (lit. "the nearest")
  • 最初 さいしょ "the beginning; the outset"
  • 最後 / さいご "the end"
This is the same Sai you've known for years in the form of SaiMoe (lit. "the most moe") and SaiGAR (lit. "the most GAR"). In the case of 最悪 "the worst", it literally means "the most bad".
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:37 PM   #243
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Another opinion question...earlier in the year I gave a kind of messy kanji construction to Talon that phonetically spelled out "mamushi". The word has strong connotations in Japanese and that's what I was banking on.

The kanji for mamushi is 蝮, and that's if you read it as kun-yomi. Interestingly, the radical that makes up the kanji, 虫 (mushi) usually refers to bugs/insects and stuff now but originally referred to a snake, and still does just not in routine usage. 蝮 referred to a particularly large snake but has now been pre-empted with the pit viper connotations. However, mamushi appears to be a construct of on/kun mixing, which is probably okay given the connotations but it made me a bit uncomfortable since I'm still a beginner.

So I worked with some names and here are some built ones I like, with the readings alongside. What sounds the most intimidating?

蛇神 - jashin (Snake God), on-yomi but the word 'jashin' is a loaded one that often refers to a "wicked" god.
虫神 - kishin (Snake God), on-yomi using the original mushi radical, 'kishin' is also loaded and refers to a "demon god".
魔虫 - mamushi (Demon Snake), on/kun mix that I had originally.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Another opinion question...earlier in the year I gave a kind of messy kanji construction to Talon that phonetically spelled out "mamushi". The word has strong connotations in Japanese and that's what I was banking on.

The kanji for mamushi is 蝮, and that's if you read it as kun-yomi. Interestingly, the radical that makes up the kanji, 虫 (mushi) usually refers to bugs/insects and stuff now but originally referred to a snake, and still does just not in routine usage. 蝮 referred to a particularly large snake but has now been pre-empted with the pit viper connotations. However, mamushi appears to be a construct of on/kun mixing, which is probably okay given the connotations but it made me a bit uncomfortable since I'm still a beginner.

So I worked with some names and here are some built ones I like, with the readings alongside. What sounds the most intimidating?

蛇神 - jashin (Snake God), on-yomi but the word 'jashin' is a loaded one that often refers to a "wicked" god.
虫神 - kishin (Snake God), on-yomi using the original mushi radical, 'kishin' is also loaded and refers to a "demon god".
魔虫 - mamushi (Demon Snake), on/kun mix that I had originally.
Jashin can also sound like "Malign God" as in Haiyore Nyaruko-san. Kishin sounds similar to Machine God or whatever was that Touhou spellcard - Kishin Hishou Bishamonten. Ah. Demon Sign, I think. Not sure about Mamushi though.

To be honest, Jashin sounds the most intimidating.
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"That was a terrible idea. But holy carp, this tastes pretty nice."


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Kamen's mind:

"YOUKOSO WAGA CRAZY E"



Love burns brightly for one and all.

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Please don't diss idols or fluffy things in my presence.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:50 PM   #245
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For me, it's Jashin > Mamushi pun > Kishin.

Jashin, as you rightly note, is widely recognized as 邪神 and means an evil god. If you want your character to be intimidating but non-evil, Jashin is right out. Unless you're deliberately preying on your audience's assumptions, knowing that they'll associate Jashin with 邪神, conclude incorrectly that the character is evil, and then be astonished when it turns out that "What's in a name? " is your philosophy and lo and behold the character Jashin is a hero/heroine.

Mamushi, the moment you indicated you were trying to see on/kun mixing in there, made me wonder if you'd leap for the 魔 ma. And sure enough you did. Yeah, it works. It's also distinctly less evil than Jashin would be. (Yes, 魔 has connections with demons and ogres and such ... but it also generally has connections with magic.)

Kishin sounds the least intimidating to me. I can't speak for everybody but hearing it I'm reminded of kirin. I dunno, something about the sounds ki and shin make together doesn't sound scary to me. Nor does Kishin remind me of any preexisting Japanese words for intimidating things either.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:08 PM   #246
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What is the definition of 呂? I took it to mean "spine", but there's quite some disagreement.

Jeffrey's: bass range, solfeggio
Saiga: low register tone
Jisho: spine, back-bone
Jim Breen: bass range, solfeggio
Kiki's: spine, back-bone
ja.wikitonary: spine, back-bone

There isn't even a case of "both", it's either one or the other strictly.

I can imagine spine being the more fundamental of the definitions, since the solfeggio does resemble a spine on sheet music, but I'm still at a loss with which to go for as the most commonly understood definition.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:39 PM   #247
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Honestly don't know the answer to that question. I've never really taken a closer look at 呂 before. Just sort of rolled with it as part of お風呂, as a radical constituent in characters like 宮, etc.

If you look up 呂 in Jim Breen's kanji dictionary, it says that the meaning is that of "spine; backbone" and it offers readings of ろ, りょ, せぼね, and (in given names) とも or なが. However, both according to the IME and Jim Breen's vocabulary dictionary, there's only one spelling of せぼね: and that's 背骨, comprised of 背 せ "back" and 骨 ほね "bone".

If you look up 呂 in Jim Breen's vocabulary dictionary, you only get the musical definition, along with the suggested reading of りょ.

My guess would be that while the character's meaning is that of "spine; backbone," the word that is spelled 呂 does not carry that meaning in (at least) modern Japanese.

While not exactly the same, a similar example may be found in 本. The meaning of the word spelled 本 is "book" and is pronounced ほん, but the character 本 also has the meaning of "origin," variably as ほん (e.g. 日本, lit. "Sun's origin") or もと. Then further consider how, just as in the case of せぼね 呂 vs. せぼね 背骨, with the reading もと and the meaning "origin" we have the alternate spelling 元 for which the character 元 is indeed used, e.g. 元に戻る "to return to the original [state of being]; to go back to the beginning", or 元{occupation or relationship role} "ex-{occupation or relationship role}". The point being that while 本 the character carries the meaning of "origin," 本 the word, as a stand-alone word, isn't typically used in such a manner. I imagine it's a similar case with 呂. Read as りょ and left all by itself, in (at least) modern Japanese it likely only means the musical definition; but in compound words, it may very well connote the idea associated with a spine or backbone.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:52 PM   #248
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Which is more fun to say if you were screaming it at the top of your lungs?

鬼神骨砲 (kishin kotsuhou)
鬼神貝砲 (kishin kaihou)
魔脊椎 (masekitsui)

The visual is something similar to Diablo II's Bone Spear, conveying of a spine or a nautilus shell work both for me. But everyone loves to shout attacks, so it needs to have energy!

Note: I know that 貝 results in the dreaded on-yomi/kun-yomi mixing, but it's weird in this case since kai has legitimate on pronunciations elsewhere...just not here. And there's a lot more flexibility with attack names too...I mean for crying out loud some of them piece together English!
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:27 AM   #249
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Would anyone be willing to play Internet Shiritori with me?
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:17 AM   #250
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Would anyone be willing to play Internet Shiritori with me?
What is that? :'3

WAIT I KNOW THIS GAME I CAN PLAY THIS GAME
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