Search type

Word search: Languages

Word search: Databases

🌏 Region(s): Kyushu (Kumamoto)



Pronunciation: [bin̩ta]



  1. Cheek, cheeks
    1. びんたばくらわす
      binta ba kurawasu
      "to slap someone's cheeks", "to strike someone's face"
  2. Head; face


Cognate with Nagasaki びんたん bintan and びんた binta "cheeks"; Kumamoto びんた binta "head; cheeks"; Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Tanegashima びんた binta "head"; Okinawan びんた binta "sideburns; upper cheeks"; Yaeyama (Hatoma) びんた binta "hair on the temples; cheeks"; and standard Japanese びんた binta, meaning "hair on the temples" as well as "a slap in the face". Ultimately derived from びん【鬢】 bin "hair on the temples, sideburns", itself of Chinese origin (cf. Mandarin bìn; Cantonese ban3; and Sino-Korean 빈 bin); as well as an unknown suffix た ta, speculated to come from はた【側・傍・端】 hata "near, beside, around" or 【手】 ta "hand" in different sources, but more likely from a reduced form of たぶ(ら) tabu(ra). Compare Nagasaki びんたぶ bintabu "cheeks" and Kumamoto (Amakusa) びんたぶら bintabura "cheeks", as well as Ibaraki and Fukushima びんこ binko "hair on the temples".

Historical attestations:

  • Vocabulary of the language spoken at the Great Loo-Choo island in the Japan Sea (1818), by Herbert John Clifford, records "Whiskers, bínta" for Okinawan.
  • Transactions The Asiatic Society Of Japan (1915), Vol. 43 Pt. 2, records "Binta, head, atama" and "Bintanke, hair of the head, kamige" for the Kagoshima dialect.


  • The standard Japanese sense of "slap" is said to derive by way of metonomy from the Kagoshima term びんた binta "head" through its use in expressions by police officers during the Meiji area, many of whom originated from Satsuma.


+ amend/report