Hot answers tagged etymology
東: 主人。由於古時主位在東，客位在西，所以稱主人為「 東」。如：「房東」、「店東」。 Translation: In ancient times, the host was seated to the east and the guest to the west, so the host was called "East". reference: http://dict.variants.moe.edu.tw/yitia/fra/fra01875.htm Personally I have also heard it is because the Sun rises from the east, thus east is seen as the 'emic', or the 'theme'
After some research, I found two reasonable explanations. But, IMHO, the two should be compiled as the following: 老 is a prefix that is added to make 虎 and 鼠 easier to pronounce; besides, it implies that people respect 虎 and fear 鼠. The two explanations as follow: Affix for smooth pronunciation In the Classical Chinese era, texts were concise and ...
It's a Taiwanese slang. 機車：在台灣有時會用來形容人難以相處，作為一種罵人用語。由來為台灣閩南人中，部分人士對於令人不滿 的人會以粗俗詞語「欠姦」（閩南話）來形容，甚至以「膣屄」（閩南話，發音類似「機掰」）取代「欠姦」， 但由於感到不雅或故意作為玩笑，起於民國80年代的學生族群，有一些人「機……」第一個音發出後，第二個 音改接「車」而成為「機車」。 ref : wikipedia of 機車
the usage is classical and shows up at least as far back as mencius: 吾豈好辨哉？吾不得已也。Here the meaning is quite literally "I cannot (不) achieve/obtain (得) an end (已)" to my argumentativeness. In other words, i have no choice but to argue. You might compare it with the much more colloquial 不得不. By the way be careful about the whole multi-character words thing. ...
不得已 can be considered as a word, just like the single English word, so there is no rule to this. And here the pronunciation of 得 in this expression is "de ".
得 also means 可以 (allowed, permitted), such as 不得吸烟(no smoking) 不(bù): not 得(dé): allowed 已(yǐ): to stop so not allowed to stop [something] becomes [something] must happen becomes to have to
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