One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Japanese contexts: = rock paper scissors. Also as interjection (chiefly in form jan-ken-pon): the call used to signal the beginning of a round.
Late 19th century. From Japanese janken from jan (of uncertain origin, probably representing a regional (Nagasaki) pronunciation of ryan two, two-finger gesture in ken games: see note) + ken fist, type of game played with hand gestures.
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