In the past, when Japanese men proposed marriage, they used an abalone as a betrothal gift! How would you like to receive such a fishy offering?! Here's the word for that present:
長熨斗 (ながのし: dried abalone stretched long and thin (used as a betrothal gift))
long + flatiron, to smooth out + dipper
The newly published essay 1633 on 斗 (dipper) shows how this gift has left a legacy in the form of のし (written in kanji as 熨斗). A のし is now a long strip of paper that the Japanese attach either to a gift or to an envelope containing money. As the essay notes, "Few Japanese people mentally connect this のし with either the kanji rendering 熨斗 or the abalone meaning."
Here's a preview of essay 1633:
[Read the rest on Joy o' Kanji!]
Causes Eve Kushner Supports
The Milo Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, PCI, FINCA