What does this mean?

I came across this in “Kimagure Robotto”:


Anyone know what it means? I think it has something to do with birds. How do you transcribe it into romaji?


That’s not a lot of context…

Googling suggests it’s a variation (regional? children’s language? no idea) of standard キツツキ == woodpecker.

Quite a lot of the google search hits for キッッキ appear to be OCR recognition errors of キツツキ.

Thanks! You are correct, it’s woodpecker. I misread the katakana. I hate katakana. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the “tsu” letter is a full-size “tsu” or a mini “tsu”, meant to double the following consonant.

So transliterated in kunrei-siki it is: kitutuki. From “ki” = tree and “tutuku” = to peck.

The other small-vs-large I have difficulty with sometimes is small vs large ya/yu/yo in furigana, where the small font means it’s hard to distinguish; sometimes I just have to try both options in the dictionary to find out which it is. 華奢 きゃしゃ in particular I can never remember for some reason.

At least we’re not reading pre-ww2-spelling reform texts; they used to write both the consonant-doubling and the actual tsu the same way (or sometimes wrote a different syllable and you just had to know it was pronounced differently, eg modern 学校 がっこう used to be written がくかう).

One of the responses to this japanese.stackexchange question mentions that they didn’t start using small-tsu instead of large-tsu in the official texts of Japanese laws until some time in the 1980s!