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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally

A Japanese lexicographer asked me about the origin of the word AWg, which most Japanese-Japanese dictionaries claim to be an abbreviation of the putatively English "agitating point." As he pointed out, nearly all the Web hits for "agitating point" come from Japanese sites, calling into question its supposed English provenance.

I discovered that at least two dictionaries--VꎫT and OȓꎫT--trace the word instead to the Russian agitpunkt, and indeed such a word with a similar meaning is defined in Ozhegov's Russian-Russian dictionary (1968) and Kenkyusha's Russian-Japanese dictionary (1988). So it seems that most of the kokugo dictionaries are wrong, the two Sanseido dictionaries are right, and AWg comes from psy~{.
(June 22, 2003)