There is no single accepted universally accepted theory to explain the meaning of the term. One theory derives norito from noru (宣る, 'to declare'; cf. the verbs inoru 'to pray' and norou 'to curse') - combined with the suffix -to. A variant term, notto, is derived from a combination of norito with koto, 'word'.
Norito were (and still are) traditionally written in a variety of man'yōgana where particles and suffixes are written in a smaller script than the main body of the text. This style of writing, used in imperial edicts (宣命 senmyō) preserved in the Shoku Nihongi and other texts dating from the 8th century (Nara period), is known as senmyōgaki.
- Philippi, Donald L. (1990). Norito: A Translation of the Ancient Japanese Ritual Prayers. Princeton University Press. p. vii. ISBN 0691014892.
- "Norito". https://www.britannica.com/topic/norito.
- Motosawa, Masafumi. "Norito". Kokugakuin University. http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=1246.
- Philippi (1990). p. 2.
- Shiraishi, Mitsukuni, cited in Philippi (1990). p. 2.
- Philippi (1990). p. 1.
- Kitagawa, Joseph Mitsuo (1987). On Understanding Japanese Religion. Princeton University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0691102290. https://books.google.com/books?id=h1xcc4cGL5cC&pg=PA67.
- Sinor, Denis, ed (1969). American Oriental Society, Middle West Branch, Semi-Centennial Volume: A Collection of Original Essays. Indiana University Press. pp. 242-243. https://books.google.com/books?id=vGEDAAAAMAAJ.
- Seeley, Christopher (1991). A History of Writing in Japan. Brill. pp. 54-55. ISBN 978-9004090811. https://books.google.com/books?id=KCZ2ya6cg88C&pg=PA54.