Monday, April 16, 2012

A to Z Challenge: N - Ninja

Ninja

That "image" to the left, which is really just a picture of text, is something I've been seeing on Facebook lately. It's kind of funny, but it also makes perfect sense, logically.

Because Ninja, like Katana, is originally a Japanese word that has only been adopted into English because it has been used so often. Probably because of TMNT. The point here, though, is that Ninja, like all Japanese words, does not add an "S" to the end to become plural. Many Ninja are spelled the same as one Ninja. So that's probably how the Ninja were hiding from the thesaurus so well. LOL.

nin·ja [nin-jə] n. pl. a member of a class of 14th-century Japanese mercenary agents who were trained in the martial arts and hired for covert operations such as assassination and sabotage

Synonyms: there are no direct synonyms for this word, but some related words are: ninpo, ninjitsu, Kunoichi, Shinobi, monomi

Etymology: Ninja is an on'yomi (Early Middle Chinese-influenced) reading of the two kanji "忍者". In the native kun'yomi kanji reading, it is pronounced shinobi, a shortened form of the transcription shinobi-no-mono (忍の者). These two systems of pronouncing kanji create words (ninja/ninsha or shinobi-no-mono) with similar meanings.

53 comments:

Retro-Zombie said...

ninjas are cool, period!

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
My New Book:
Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

mmshaunakelley said...

I think Monday's should always start with ninja!

KatieO said...

LOVE! "Ninjas can not be found" - sounds like an answer siri would give ;-)

Adam Heine said...

Ninja in American culture predates TMNT. On Wikipedia, I found references to ninja on MacGyver, Knight Rider, The Greatest American Hero, and Magnum P.I. Also the movies American Ninja and Enter the Ninja.

There's gotta be something earlier though. You've made me want to look harder.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great word for N. It's so well known I'm surprised it couldn't be found.

Laurita said...

Ninjas are a great way to start the week. Now, we just have to add 'Pirate' and we have a party. ;)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I read much about Ninjas from Alex.

Loved your N word and post.

Yvonne.

Laura Pauling said...

Very funny that that word is not in the dictionary! It needs to be!

SA Larsenッ said...

I was expecting this one from Alex. lol

So it doesn't matter if you are a lone Ninja or a troupe of Ninja. Ninja are special. ;D

Justine Dell said...

LoL. Between you and Alex, I should have known that I would see ninja on the A to Z blogging challenge. Well played, Matthew, well played. ;-)

~JD

Stina Lindenblatt said...

ROFL at the 'picture'. Well put!

Rick Daley said...

Plus ninja have really cool masks and weapons.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I thought Alex would do this one but you beat him to it, right? How Ninja of you...

Stephen Tremp said...

Another ninja joke. I recently saw a Ninja parade pic on Facebook. Of course, the street was deserted. Well played, ninja. Well played.

J.W. Alden said...

Who doesn't love an awesome ninja? I was very disappointed to grow up and learn that it wasn't a viable career option.

J.W. Alden

Jennifer Macfarlan said...

Very interesting post, I had no idea about the origin or the plural!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ninja! Awesome word. Yes, I see I let some people down by not choosing this word.
But maybe I did and you just can't see it...?

J. Kathleen Cheney said...

The business about English beating up other languages for spare words is true ;o)

I like your theme. Very cool choice!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I did research into Ninjas for my SciFi trilogy. They weren't nearly as cool in reality as their legends have become. I prefer the legends. =D

Clarissa Draper said...

I would tell you where the ninja are hiding but then I'd have to kill you.

Old Kitty said...

I only know one ninja and he likes Kate Beckinsale esp in her birthday suit! LOL! Take care
x

Jessica Salyer said...

I saw this on twitter, cracked me up!

Susan Roebuck said...

I first started seeing Ninja (no s) on Alex's blog. Glad I'm part of the Ninja army. Thanks Matthew, my vocabulary is increasing in huge leaps.

Cassie Mae said...

Cassie is the synonym for Ninja ;)

Nancy Thompson said...

Old Kitty made me laugh! Good one! And it's funny how many commenters above used ninjas with an S! My husband used up be obsessed with ninja when he was a teenager, hence all his weird ninja weaponry.

Chris Fries said...

Huh... I always thought the plural of "ninja" was either "ninjae" or "ninji"...

Jessica Bell said...

You missed a synonym! Alex! ;o)

Lydia Kang said...

I thought he was on Alex Cavanaugh's blog! LOL.

S. L. Hennessy said...

Who doesn't love a good ninja. Well, except a pirate.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Fun one, Matt. There are quite a few words around that don't take an s in the plural form. I didn't think about this one.

I'll admit to a fascination for Ninja and stories that have them.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Jenny S. Morris said...

Shh, stop giving away our ninja secrets. ;0)

maine character said...

What Adam said. TMNT came out in 1984, and before that I remember seeing them in "Shogun," "Magnum PI," martial arts catalogs, and a few movies, plus Lustbader's novel called "Ninja," which came out in early '85.

Traci Kenworth said...

Interesting.

Dawn Ius said...

I'll be giggling about that image all day :-)
Great N post.

Lynn Proctor said...

my grandson used to be one :)

Jay Noel said...

I did a post on ninja facts vs myths. Like they didn't wear all black. They actually tried to blend in, so they wore local clothing.

If they went out at night, their clothing was navy blue.

Ninjas play an important part of my current project. It's so much fun playing with ninjas and alternate history!

Joshua said...

I often sneak up on people. They ask me how I do it. My answer? They don't call them sneakers for no reason.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay ninja! Did you ever see the video of the "ninja parade"? Omg, it's hilarious

Zan Marie said...

Maybe we all need a little ninja spirit to hide from Mondays. ; )

As a Writer... said...

...those sneaky ninja.
Stopping by from the A-Z challenge.
Have a great day!

Nicki Elson said...

Guess what - Thesaurus.com didn't find Ninja either. So weird.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

On World of Warcraft...a ninja was a player that scooped all of the loot, then disconnected so that you couldn't talk to them about sharing the loot. Usually that player got blacklisted and you would call them out in trade chat for being a fucking ninja looter.

LynnRush said...

Love this. Oh, and that image is SWEET!!! Go Ninjas!

Brinda said...

Hey, I wanna be a ninja.

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, no, ninja were a thing way before the turtles. The 70s was when they really started making the big time.
And nothing against Alex, but ninja are so overrated. If you do any real digging on them, they were mostly a lot of cowards that were really good at hiding. They're usual and best tatctic in a fight was to run away.

Maggie McGee said...

Well done indeed.

Stella Telleria said...

Mimes, Ninjas, and Cholesterol: The Silent Killers

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I trust Adam Heine to know the etymology of Ninja-ness. :)

farawayeyes said...

I see many ninja. OK, I like how that sounds.

Slamdunk said...

Ha, you made me laugh with the ninjas and the thesaurus line. It reminds me of the Chuck Norris jokes that were so prevalent a few years ago.

Rusty Webb said...

I don't recall the first time I heard of a ninja, but it predated my awareness of TMNT. I remember that TV show in the 80's... was it American Ninja? An old man travels around with a young guy and teaches him how to be a ninja. Each episode shows the kid do pretty well before getting in over his head and then he gets bailed out by the old man. Classic stuff.

D.G. Hudson said...

Thanks, Matt, for the ninja lesson. If I ever bring a ninja into my story, I'll remember.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Matthew .. especially as we use Ninja all the time - with Alex .. seems strange it can't be found .. perhaps he's gone AWOL too .. but I saw him earlier ...

Cheers Hilary