KOU KU (mouth, opening)

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Character Etymology:

A pictograph of an open mouth.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: KOU KU
kun-yomi: kuchi guchi

English Definitions:

  1. KOU (KOO), KU: mouth
  2. kuchi: mouth, lips; speach, words; one's taste, stopper, plug; nozzle, orifice, slit, apeture; door, gate, entrance; route, ascent; employment, job; call (for a doctor); share; kind, lot, brand; beginning; rumor, opening (or a boil).

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

人口 (jinkoo): population.
出口 (deguchi): exit.
口頭試問 (kootoo shimon): oral examination.

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A Poem in the Before Choice Disturbs collection


By the time I got to university
I must have smoked, well, a lot of pot.
Such a good customer for
my dealer, that each time I bought
a quarter ounce he kicked in a hit
or two of acid.

I never took them, I hoarded them.
Not that serious about my self-destruction
then. Not like Rich. I smoked with
Rich most of the time, and once he saw
my little stash there was
no refusing him.

"What's this?" He asked, opening the
bag of squares. "Acid." My voice like I'm
saying "Orange Juice." Rich tactfully
cajoled me into it: "What are you, a pussy?"
But only under the condition that we finish them
all-- over a series of days-- never
letting ourselves come down. Rich agreed.

We began on a Thursday, opening
the bag of about 20 hits, and placed
he first under our tongues. Half
an hour later we were in the
midst of the drug.

Thursday and most of Friday are
clear to me, popping blotters every
8 hours or so. That Friday night,
sitting in the room, and then a blank.

A blank until early Tuesday morning,
before the sun, when I woke in
a sandtrap on a golf course
about 8 miles from campus.
Dressed in a suit and tie
instead of T-shirt and jeans.

I woke there alone; Rich was nowhere.
I went back to my room, later reading,
through my headache, about LSD.
Flashbacks, the 7 years in spine and brain.
Next year it'll be 7 years and all traces
of at least that drug will be gone.
And you'd think sometimes
I'd think about the things I saw
and heard while under the drug,
but you'd be wrong.

The strongest thing is the sand,
the sand in my mouth. I never even think about it,
until I'm at the beach, or even walking
along and a bit of grit is blown into my mouth.
Like the sand from the trap
is still there, in my mouth, previously
hiding in some recess of molar, or under my gum.

And what I remember ultimately
is Rich, sprawled on my bed,
wrapped in my blanket,
his clean mouth closed.

Mouth (?), n.; pl. Mouths (#). [OE. mouth, mu, AS. m; akin to D. mond, OS. m, G. mund, Icel. mur, munnr, Sw. mun, Dan. mund, Goth. muns, and possibly L. mentum chin; or cf. D. muil mouth, muzzle, G. maul, OHG. mla, Icel. mli, and Skr. mukha mouth.]


The opening through which an animal receives food; the aperture between the jaws or between the lips; also, the cavity, containing the tongue and teeth, between the lips and the pharynx; the buccal cavity.

2. Hence:

An opening affording entrance or exit; orifice; aperture;

as: (a)

The opening of a vessel by which it is filled or emptied, charged or discharged; as, the mouth of a jar or pitcher; the mouth of the lacteal vessels, etc.


The opening or entrance of any cavity, as a cave, pit, well, or den.


The opening of a piece of ordnance, through which it is discharged.


The opening through which the waters of a river or any stream are discharged.


The entrance into a harbor.

3. Saddlery

The crosspiece of a bridle bit, which enters the mouth of an animal.


A principal speaker; one who utters the common opinion; a mouthpiece.

Every coffeehouse has some particular statesman belonging to it, who is the mouth of the street where he lives. Addison.


Cry; voice.




Speech; language; testimony.

That in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Matt. xviii. 16.


A wry face; a grimace; a mow.

Counterfeit sad looks, Make mouths upon me when I turn my back. Shak.

Down in the mouth, chapfallen; of dejected countenance; depressed; discouraged. [Obs. or Colloq.] -- Mouth friend, one who professes friendship insincerely. Shak. -- Mouth glass, a small mirror for inspecting the mouth or teeth. -- Mouth honor, honor given in words, but not felt. Shak. -- Mouth organ. Mus. (a) Pan's pipes. See Pandean. (b) An harmonicon. -- Mouth pipe, an organ pipe with a lip or plate to cut the escaping air and make a sound. -- To stop the mouth, to silence or be silent; to put to shame; to confound.

The mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. Ps. lxiii. 11.

Whose mouths must be stopped. Titus i. 11.


© Webster 1913.

Mouth (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Mouthed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Mouthing.]


To take into the mouth; to seize or grind with the mouth or teeth; to chew; to devour.



To utter with a voice affectedly big or swelling; to speak in a strained or unnaturally sonorous manner.

"Mouthing big phrases."


Mouthing out his hollow oes and aes. Tennyson.


To form or cleanse with the mouth; to lick, as a bear her cub.

Sir T. Browne.


To make mouths at.


R. Blair.


© Webster 1913.

Mouth, v. i.


To speak with a full, round, or loud, affected voice; to vociferate; to rant.

I'll bellow out for Rome, and for my country, And mouth at Caesar, till I shake the senate. Addison.


To put mouth to mouth; to kiss.




To make grimaces, esp. in ridicule or contempt.

Well I know, when I am gone, How she mouths behind my back. Tennyson.


© Webster 1913.

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