Sake & Masu: 2 Possible Meanings in Japanese
When Japanese people hear Sake (さけ) and Masu (ます), many probably picture two different pairs of things.
Sake (酒) & Masu (升)
One is 酒 (Sake) and 升 (Masu).
As you know, the former is the Japanese generic word for alcoholic drinks and usually refers to rice wine called Sake.
On the other hand, 升 is a small wooden container shaped like a square box, traditionally used in Japan to drink Sake rice wine.
Sake (鮭) & Masu (鱒)
酒 and 升 are easily recognizable by the eye, but the other Sake and Masu, 鮭 and 鱒, are not.
Meaning & Definition
Long story short, 鮭 (Sake) and 鱒 (Masu) are the Japanese words for salmon and trout in English, and 鮭 is from the sea.
鱒 is generally small-size compared to 鮭, caught in freshwater, but biologically, there is no clear distinction between the two fishes.
Pronunciation & Reading
鱒 (Masu) and 升 (Masu) have the same pronunciation, but 酒 (Sake) and 鮭 (Sake) don’t and differ in intonation (pronounced this way (酒/鮭).
Also, the reading of 酒 is usually さけ/Sake on its own, whereas 鮭 has another reading しゃけ/Shake.
Incidentally, there is no difference in meaning/definition between 鮭 and しゃけ, which refer to the same thing, salmon.
(Reference Pages: Osakana Suisankai, Macaroni)