Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.
slithytove

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DA


meaning: pack-horse, poor quality

無駄 == muda == (noun, adjective that takes な) futility, uselessness
  駄賃== dachin == (noun) reward, tip, carriage or horse charge




Left radical is 'horse' (馬). Right radical, now 'fat' (太), was originally 'big' (大). A 'big horse' was a pack-horse. Henshall says that because this was not an especially valuable animal, the character has also come to mean poor quality, or cheap. (This sounds suspiciously like folk etymology to me. I'm just sayin'.) Henshall suggests as a mnemonic: 'Fat pack-horse of poor quality.'

Info from Taka Kanji Database
List of compounds including this character from Risu Dictionary

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