Why is Isuzu spelt いすゞ and not いすず?

That last little sqiggle in the name is not normal hiragana, unlike the rest of the name. And it’s not just the truck company either, dentists and suchlike with the same (family) name always have the same last syllable. Could it be a kanji??? Totally stumped on this one, so any help gratefully received.

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2 Comments

  1. April 30, 2008 at 7:30 am

    It’s a repetition symbol. It’s most commonly seen in its kanji form 々 (人々 [hitobito] for example), but it has hiragana and katakana forms too. The two hiragana forms are ゝ and ゞ, and the katakana forms are ヽ and ヾ. The double-ticks are used if the syllable it replaces would have them. In the case of isuzu, the repetition character is replacing a hiragana ず, so ゞ is used.

    As to why they use this repetition symbol instead of plain old hiragana, I don’t know. Wikipedia just says that proper names sometimes use the double-tick in hiragana/katakana form.

    BTW, I didn’t know any of this before. I just checked wikipedia when I saw this post. For more information about the repetition symbol, check http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%9E

  2. alexcase said,

    May 1, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Thanks, that one has been worrying me for years but I only just got round to posting about it.


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