Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wisdom in a Tooth

This is the coolest word I've heard reacently and I finally got the "Oh, so there are still some treasure boxes out there!" feeling. I almost thought the chances of finding anything would be so slim to even bother.
So this is how they say "wisdom tooth" in Japanese.

Japanese: 親知らず
Reading: oyashirazu
Meaning: wisdom tooth
Literally: parents - not knowing 

Say what now? Ok, I'll explain the two theories behind the origin of this word.
The first theory is that when you're a baby and your teeth start to get out, the parents of course are very excited and you can say they pretty much "introduce" themselves to each and every tooth as it comes out.
"Look honey, another one came out today!"

But the wisdom teeth come out when it's not so exiting anymore, and many times they come out when the "kid" has already left home. So those teeth do not really know the parents, and those teeth erupt without the parents knowing about it, hence the "not knowing the parents" teeth, or teeth that came out "without the parents knowing". Cool right?

The second theory goes like this. The first set of teeth a baby gets are his milk teeth, then when he grows older, those teeth are replaced one by one with his grown up permanent (hopefully) teeth. So we can say that each tooth had a "parent" milk tooth that it replaced when it erupted. But the wisdom teeth don't replace anything, they just come out. Those poor teeth, they don't even know if they had parent teeth at all, or where they are now, orphan teeth if you will. Hence, "not knowing (their own) parents" teeth.

Both theories are good with me :)
They are both cool enough.

Me mega like!


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