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24

the "俄" part seems to have no corresponding phoneme, either in Russian or any of the other language I have looked up. Yes it's peculiar in Chinese. This is related to the Mongolian form 「斡羅思」 mentioned in the Wikipedia article quoted. The article 俄罗斯国家名称变迁考——从“罗刹”到“俄罗斯” by 郭文深 gives a thorough explanation; to briefly summarize: The Mongolian borrowed ...


19

No. The Cyrillic script is based on the Greek script, and some other local scripts like Hebrew. The basis for sha is thought to be the Hebrew letter ש (shin). ש It's unlikely that shin is based on the Chinese character, either. It seems taken from the Phoenician alphabet, where the corresponding letter looks like a Latin W. It's worth keeping in mind that ...


16

Over it's long history of usage, the meaning of 息 has evolved. Yes, 息 has the connotation of message. (5) 消息 [message] (6) 又如:信息(音信;消息);息耗(消息,信息) Its original meaning is to breathe;pant. (会意兼形声。从心,从自,自亦声。自,鼻子。古人以为气是从心里通过鼻子呼吸的。本义:喘气;呼吸) And then the meaning was extended, 人之氣急曰喘。舒曰息。引伸爲休息之偁。又引伸爲生長之偁。引伸之義行而鼻息之義廢矣。 [ Breathing slowly was ...


9

言 (yan2) is the root of all words meaning talk. It says so in the 說文解字 (a dictionary from the Han dynasty): 凡言之屬皆从言 The origin of the character 言 is a picture of a person with a big mouth. In ancient Chinese, it’s the general word for any form of speech or talking. In modern Chinese, it has become literary and is normally only used in compound words ...


8

Note: much of this is based on the answer by Altair at Chinese-Forums. It may be worthwhile to answer the 也 / 他 / 地 / 池 question first. Character Mandarin Cantonese Hokkien Middle Ch. Old Ch. 也 yě jaa5 / yáh iā yæX *lAjʔ 他 tā taa1 / tā tha/thaⁿ tha *l̥ ˤaj 地 ...


8

According to 说文解字, 从水,難省聲 So 漢 is taking as its pictophonetic part. 1. What does mean? This is the ancient inscriptions (甲骨文 and 金文) of it (from 字源谈趣). Its original meaning is to fire someone (as a penalty), who is tied up and crying to the sky. So it's used for the meaning of suffering or disaster, and then 難, 艱, 嘆 were created based on it. 2. ...


7

Yes, 我 was a kind of weapon. According to the book 字源谈趣, 我 was a kind of broadax originally in slavery society. 请看图(A),是甲骨文里的“我”字,象个什么东西呢?象把有柄有钩的古代武器——大斧,斧口有一排锋利的锯齿。原来,这是奴隶社会里一种用来行刑杀人和肢解牲口的凶器,叫做wǒ,古代也有人把这种锯斧叫做“錡”。 And then later, 我 was obsoleted by other new weapons little by little. From Han and Tang dynasty, 我 was borrowed to be used as first ...


7

This is an interesting question, because it allows us to look at how words are formed in modern Chinese. The Characters Both 兒 and 子 meant "child" or "son" in ancient Chinese. 兒 was more specific, while 子 had a variety of other uses, like "master" (as in 孔子 - master Kong/Confucius). When 子 meant child, it was somewhat inclusive of female children, although ...


7

Is this discrepancy above due to a calligraphical mistake or lazyness, namely, leaving off that one tick, made a long time ago? TL;DR: I don't think so, because (1) 尸 used as the pictographic radical with the meaning house in 屋 was explicitly mentioned in 说文解字 long before, (2) the original meanings of 尸 and 户 used as radicals are not exactly the same (...


5

Wang Li (王力) in his 漢語史稿 (p. 532) lists 對象 as one of the many words that modern Chinese borrowed from Japanese; in this case, acc. to Wang, 對象 taishō was itself a Japanese translation for English "object", a case of 來自西洋,路過日本. The use of 對象 to mean "steady romantic interest", "possible marital partner" probably came later, through the sort of ...


5

It's homophonic of 溜, which means proficient, smooth (in doing something) in Nothern dialects. Note it doesn't imply a top degree of mastery. It's more like nice instead of pwned. The use of number 6 first appeared in online games, then spread to internet contents. Some examples for the original word: 他爬树很溜(儿)。He's good at climbing trees. 他说的很溜(儿)...


5

The answer to this question is quite complicated, there is a whole website devoted to this subject here. Shrinking things down as short as possible, the idea of seven day periods within a calendar based primarily on months came from the West into China, possibly more than once. During the Tang dynasty, it was taken up in China for use in astrology. For the ...


5

The Japanese character you're referring to is 貓. Currently, in China they use 猫. Although 猫 is considered the simplified character of 貓, 猫 is already mentioned as a variant form in the 廣韻 dictionary, which is now a millennium old (although of course, 豸 is used for felines and 犭for canines...) The question about the sound is interesting, and you could note ...


5

也,它,虫 have the same origin, meaning 蛇 snake. 也 means vulva, 女阴. This meaning is related to totem worship and reproduction worship. I think it's also possibly related to the ancient Chinese mythology : Nüwa (女娲) who is known for creating mankind and repairing the pillar of heaven (Fig. 1 and 2), and Fuxi (伏羲) who is credited with (along with his sister Nü ...


5

棒 means 'great; awesome'. 棒棒 the repetition basically makes it sound rhythmical and cute. 的 after a repeated adjective in spoken language is a very subtle thing - it slightly changes the meaning from 'awesome' (praising your writing) to 'keep being awesome' (encouraging you). Overall, the difference between (真)棒 and 棒棒的 is like that between '(very) cool' ...


5

well, to make a reasonable guess; have a look of 漢語多功能字庫, please. 對 (u+5c0d) is a character since 甲骨文 (oracle bone script), which is composed by component "丵" (u+4e35), "土" (u+571f), & "又 - 手" (又 originally means right hand). 3 pictures of 對 in oracle bone script: then, 丵 in small seal script (i can't find this one in oracle bone script at this ...


4

As Stan hinted at, 宝 is a Japanese Shinjitai character. It is also a simplified Chinese character, but that's coincidental. Perhaps this fact isn't so well known, but PRC aren't the only ones that performed simplification to Chinese characters - it is merely the most well known and widespread. Japan attempted their own simplification process, but theirs was ...


4

喂 means feed(verb) originally besides answering telephone. Regarding the origin of the character, according to CiYang (1) (餵、喂是近代的“餧”字) 喂食 餵 and 喂 are modern writing of 餧 餧,饲也。——《玉篇》 餧 means feed(verb) It's a new character derive from 餧. P.S. The most popular usage of 喂 may be a character for answering phone. But it is also a derivative from the ...


4

It's hard to answer all you questions once, just one of them 1. Does a native speaker feels this connotation in 管理? No, at least I don't. For 管理, it has nothing to do with 管子/管道 (tube;pipe). From 新汉英大辞典, 管理 [guǎn lǐ] 1. manage; run; administer; supervise; rule; administration; management; regulation: 2. Managing here is taken as a metaphore for ...


4

乒 and 乓 have onomatopoeic use for sudden noise from a gun or similar. Their resemblance with an actual pingpong table is coincidental, and the characters were chosen for the sound playing the game makes. See https://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-cn/乒乓球 for the history. Both characters are used individually, but do not form any other words than 乒乓 and related terms. ...


4

My intuitive guess was it has something to do with 行会. So I looked it up and there it is: from baidu baike (although the entry is about 行会 and not 行, so everything would technically still be based on my original assumption, which isn't that bad of a guess from a native speaker's perspective): 行会产生于隋唐。唐代工商业组织大都称“行”,源于街巷上的贩卖摊商,往往一条街上开设的都是同类的店铺,故称“行”,如“织锦行”、...


4

well, according to 說文解字, 施(u+65bd)﹒从㫃﹒也聲, it should be "chopped" into 㫃(u+3ac3) & 也(u+4e5f). 㫃 is a main component of oracle bone script. so, 施 is a 形聲字 (Phono-semantic compound character), to decipher the meaning, i would suggest starting from 㫃, which is 旗在竿上飄游之形 (roughly, a flag flying on a pole). amongst usages listed, my opinions: 殺而施之, 施 is "...


4

reference: 现代汉语词典,第6版 (Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, 6th Edition). This dictionary gives 8 basic meaning items for 就. approach, get close to get to, begin to do passive, -ed by finish, become eat something (side dish) together with other thing (main course) [preposition] a: by, at somebody's convenience, take advantage of. b: about, concerning, with ...


3

you're correct on both of your assumptions; but keep in mind, simplified Chinese comes from traditional Chinese which in turn has origins. And in this case, 猫 came from 貓; the left part of the word, 豸 indicates its Cat type animal and the right side, 苗 gives it how it sounds when it makes sound. and together it described what kind of beast it is and what ...


3

According to this article, in 1905, 袁嘉谷 was ordered by Emperor 光绪 to head a division meant to compile and translate textbooks in a standard way. As part of this, they encountered a problem with things not having a consistent name; one of these was the name for the unit of one week. Although the Chinese 曜日 did happen to correspond to the Western idea of one ...


3

说文解字:更易也。从辵虒聲。 Actually, 遞=辵+虒, it's a pictophonetic character which original meaning is "to alternate". The meaning radical(形旁) 辵 carries the basic meaning "to walk one moment and stop the next". The sound radical(声旁) 虒 only indicates the pronunciation of 遞(dì).


3

I have thought about this before, but from the perspective of Japanese. Q: Why does 有機 mean organic? A: Because the fertilizer/feed that is used to raise whatever it is is made from stuff that works biologically rather than just chemically. Soooo, yeah... poop. So, let us imagine a timeline of word formation.... *wo0Ooo0o~ 機(mechanism)⇒ 機能(...


3

I wouldn't call 嗨 onomatopoeic, since it doesn't seem to be imitating any particular sound. According to the Ministry of Education's 國語辭典, 嗨 is an interjection that expresses discouragement, regret, surprise, etc. It is sometimes written as 咳, (in this sense also read hai, not ke). This use goes back to Yuan dynasty drama. It can also be used in ...


3

I assume you are talking about the origin and evolution of characters, as opposed to the origin and evolution of the words they represent. These two are complementary, but not identical. Analyzing characters and tracing their forms from the oracle bones through Zhou bronzes on into the forms used over 2000+ years of dynastic history is a huge job, and ...


3

焗 as used in Cantonese means "to bake" in the most general sense of the word. The method of baking you quoted in your question appears to describe specifically to how the Hakka/Cantonese dish 鹽焗雞 ("salt-baked chicken") is prepared, rather than the meaning of 焗 in general, which is simply a method of cooking by surrounding heat. For instance, the word for "...



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