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Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 05:50 am:   

"What is the meaning of the word "maru" when used as a suffix to the name of Japanese merchant ships?
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Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 12:33 am:   

"Maru" is a deformation of "Maro" and its original meaning was "I" or "myself". Later it became the suffix for children's name because they used to speak like "maro wa" = (I am, I want etc.). Then it became the suffix for every thing people love like their children such as dog, cat, sword, musical instrument, bonsai, ship etc. Only the usage of ship has survived until now.
best regards,

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