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Welcome to Kanji Curiosity | The Basics | Glossary
When you feel uneasy, where do you sense it in your body? Perhaps you feel "butterflies" deep in your belly. Maybe you become lightheaded. You could even get cold feet!
Two Japanese expressions about uneasiness make use of a kanji we've seen for two weeks running:
騒 (SŌ, sawa(gu): clamor, noise, disturbance; to make a fuss)
Both expressions locate uneasiness in the chest:
心騒ぎ (kokoro sawagi: uneasiness) heart + disturbance
One could see this expression as referring to a disturbance in the heart. Or given the many meanings of 騒, one could interpret 心騒ぎ as noise in the heart! Not an ear-splitting noise, of course. Rather, it might be like the irritating static when a radio station isn't coming in clearly.
The chest and the heart go hand in hand, you might say. So 胸騒ぎ essentially has the same meaning and breakdown as 心騒ぎ. In fact, the two breakdowns might be identical, in that 胸 can mean "heart" or "feelings," just as 心 can.
The Thing About Noise
物騒 (bussō: unsettled, troubled, dangerous)
thing + disturbance
In some words, 騒 seems to mean both "disturbance" and "noise." Take 物騒 and add okurigana:
物騒がしい (monosawagashii: noisy, boisterous; turbulent)
thing + noise
Now the yomi has completely changed (from on-on to kun-kun), and there's more of an emphasis on noise. Still, the last meaning, "turbulent," indicates a feeling of inquietude.
These two kanji, 物 and 騒, combine in two more words: