Saturday, February 23, 2008

What does H mean ?

We all know what Hentai means (sort of), but what does H(エッチ) stand for?
I found from various sources and it comes down to those theories.

+ For common knowledge, we think H is stand for the first character of Hentai(変態). Japanese girls used the first character to talk about those issues, to less embarrassing and more cute.

+ The character H is pronounced as /eitʃ/, and so the Japanese pronounced it as "etch". When we write that word down in Japanese "tc" will become as "cc", and "ch"will become "chi" because Japanese words always have vowels. Therefore "etch" became the word that we all know as "ecchi".So "ecchi" is how the Japanese read the character H in English.

+ The other theories is in the alphabet, the character H is follow behind the character G, so it means "attached to the back of a G(irl)"

+ In the old war days, slang words based on English became popular among Navy. The word 助平 (sukebe : lewdness) was used to indicated the lewdness, and soldiers in Navy slanged it to "he talk". "He" is as "help" in the word 助((su) : help). Then in the Navy, they often used the initial character to talk about something secret, so "he talk" became H.

+ H was used in Japanese Red-Light District as the first character of Homosexual.

+ Another theories is H also from the 破廉恥(harenchi)= embarrassing actions, actions normal people would not do.

Those theories are somewhat intervened. There is a theory that the world H or ecchi come from the world "Letch" as the character "L".
Letch is pronounced as /letʃ/. But back in those after-war days, English education in Japan is quite low, and the distinguishing between the pronounce of "L" and "R", as well as understanding English slang, was far more difficult than it is now (Toraboru can be read as To-love-ru or Trouble).
For that reason, when someone says "You letch!", people thought that "L" is not coming from "letch" but from "will" as "'ll". So they mistakt it as "You'll etch".
And because of the distinguishing between L and R, Japanese can easily mistake "You'll etch" to "You're etch". And we have the word "ecchi" from "letch". "ecchi" is a word that doesn't have the kanji writing may be because of this reason.
Later, people find the coincidence in pronouncing "etch" and H, therefore H begin to use as "letch".

If you have any other opinions, feel free to discuss :).

1 comment:

Ismail Hasan said...

Nice info. Thanks for sharing. I was always wondering what is the "h" really mean