Hot answers tagged etymology
This is not an easy question. But I think here is an answer. It originated from the Chinese water clock or clepsydra in the ancient time (刻漏 or 漏壶, http://baike.baidu.com/view/41631.htm). 刻漏 or 漏壶 was a leaky water container, where the water level represents time. 商 was originally the scale plate on this type of water clock. The scale first had 100 grades ...
This might be what you are looking for: http://xh.5156edu.com/html3/1700.html 两, or 兩: 双。用于鞋娄〖two〗 一两棕鞋八尺藤,广陵行遍又金陵。——唐·戴叔伦《忆原上人》 It's used as "pair" along with describing shoes. Noted that this is more a usage than the origin of the word.
Although the current usage of 怪兽 is dominated by the Japanese 'kaiju' concept, the word is probably not a Japanese creation. Sima Xiangru (司马相如) used it in one of his works, 封禅文 (2nd century BC): 然后囿驺虞之珍群，徼麋鹿之怪兽，䆃一茎六穗于庖，牺双觡共抵之兽，获周馀珍、放龟于岐，招翠黄、乘龙于沼。 The modern word 怪兽 was probably reintroduced into Chinese by Japanese filmmaking, as this word only ...
The historical reason behind it is kind of surprising though. From a Chinese Characters Roots book: The earlier form [of the character] looked like a yoke and a pair of saddles of a two-horse carriage. The initial meaning was two or double. It was also a unit to count vehicles and written as 辆 later. That is why we have: 一辆车 ― yī liàng chē ― ...
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