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21

This is actually not one character, but a stylistic conglomeration of the characters in the phrase 招財進寶, meaning "ushering in wealth and prosperity". The characters 財 and 寶 end up being represented with the same 貝 component in this "character". While the left side of 招 (扌) and the right side of 財 (才) are technically not the same component, they look similar ...


12

There were more than 10 names for USA in history. 亚墨利加国, after 1776; 花旗国, after 1784; 咪唎坚国, after 1784; 咩哩干国, after 1820; 亚美利加兼合国, after 1833; 弥利坚国,即育奈士迭国, after 1836; 美理哥国, 美理哥合省国, 美理哥兼摄邦国, 1838; 亚美利格合省国, 1844; 亚美理驾会邦国, 1844; 亚美理驾合众国, 1844; 米利坚合众国, 1848; 大亚美理驾合众国, 1858; 大美联邦, 1861; 大美国, 1901; 美利坚合众国(美国), after 1902; 美利坚合众国, determined in 1913; ...


12

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'


10

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 ...


9

For people to understand better...


8

氫's pronunciation qīng comes from 輕. According to this article, chemical elements were translated in more descriptive way in the 19th century, and hydrogen was named 轻气 (輕氣) "light gas". Later, the names were crippled to one character for each, so hydrogen became 轻 (輕). Finally, in 1919, every element was decided to be named systematically, where gases were ...


8

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 ...


7

There's no difference in meaning. They are not actually all that distinct: both words came from 哪, a generic interrogative character used for indicating a question. Given an appropriate context (e.g. 在哪), the character expresses the meaning of "where". Both 哪儿 and 哪里 builds upon that. The suffix 儿 is generally meaningless, and reflects the northern ...


7

Modern Chinese has underwent many pronunciation changes since characters were first invented and phonetic components often reflect words as they were pronounced in Old Chinese rather than modern Chinese. The pronunciations of 的 and 勺 were much more similar in Old Chinese. This link explains: 的 and 勺 had roughly similar pronunciations in Old Chinese; ...


7

How was it pronounced in older times (i.e. Middle Chinese)? I haven't found a record of 瞓 in classical Chinese, but since 瞓 and 训 are both read as fan in Cantonese, I'll take 训 instead. It is read qhuns in reconstructed Old Chinese that is before the 1st century B.C. In Middle Chinese it is pronounced as hyonh. How did the pronunciations ...


7

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.


6

In Old Chinese, it is generally thought that some words followed regular morphological alternations (which are preserved in a few places in MSM, but "frozen", i.e., no longer productive). For instance: Verb/Noun 处 chu3 "to dwell" / chu4 "a place" 数 shu3 "to count" / shu4 "a number" 知 zhi1 "to know" / (also 智) zhi4 "knowledge" Similarly: ...


6

The Japanese wiki page mentions that the claim is a "folk theory" that is "denied by academics". An alternative etymology for Cantonese hai6 comes from 系/繫. I don't have this book, but apparently Jerry Norman suggests this in Chinese (1988). This word had a very early meaning of 'to be connected', was used as a copula in later texts, and the phonological ...


5

They're called 合文! (combined characters ) or 合书! http://baike.baidu.com/view/2915764.htm ( Good question - I was also curious about this a while back ) :)


5

Welcome more questions Thomas. Very good answer above. It is a Spring Couplet 挥春/揮春. 招財進寶 is an auspicious saying to wish families more wealth and treasure. Chinese paste this on the front door or wall before the Chinese New Year. And they renew it annually. Some companies hope like this lucky saying so they paste it too. Besides, "福"(fu) is very popular ...


5

You can consider radicals as affix and suffix, and when you see a common english word, most time you will not consider what's the affix and suffix means, because you know the word meaning, only when you consider on the word's source, you will discuss with the affix and suffix, that's same to Chinese. And, when you encounter a word that you don't familiar or ...


5

及 means to reach. Some examples: 及格: to pass a test. Literally 'to reach the bar'. 长发及腰: 'long hair reaching waistline'. 涉及: to involve. Literally 'intervention reaches to'. 提及: to mention. Literally '(the scope of) mentioning reaches to'. 力所能及: within grasp. Literally 'capability that (one) can reach'.


5

华裔:华夏族的后裔,但大多数指华侨在侨居国所生并取得侨居国国籍的子女 华侨:尚未加入外籍的中国公民,但长期居于国外;包括已取得居住国永久居民身份者,仍保留本国公民身份 华人:属于中华民族的人的泛称 华人: All Chinese 华侨: Chinese Live overseas but no citizenship 华裔: 华侨's children, get the citizenship Taiwanese, Hongkongese, Macanese, called 同胞 Uyghur living overseas, you can call him 华人, if you dont know his identity.


4

The qu4 去 tone class in Middle Chinese is generally understood to derive from an OC suffix –s. Sagart regards the whole class as deriving from this process (Roots of OC, p. 131). This results in word pairs of plain root and root + s that in Middle Chinese and later differ by tone. If the –s is applied to a root that ends in a stop, it seems to efface that ...


4

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


4

匈 is the ancient character of 胸, means chest/breast. And I can't find any other original meaning of it besides this. “胸”的古字 [bosom;chest] 匈,膺也。——《说文》。字亦作胷、作胸 According to the explanation of 胸, it's a later character for 匈. 从肉,匈声。本作“匈”,胸是后起字。 匈奴 is just the transliteration from the name of an ancient nationality in North China, has nothing to do ...


4

This is a very interesting question unfortunately I cannot vote up yet due to a lack of reputation (so I build it up now with a hopefully good answer). My wife's Chinese and that of one of my linguistics professor Vietnamese (read up on their writing system, it's quite interesting!). I'm not studying linguistics, but because of the origins of our wives we ...


4

without implying that the classical explanation is necessarily correct, worth noting that 康熙字典 thinks 或 was the original single character for 惑, before the latter character was introduced. Not hard to see how the grammatical usages of 或 could have evolved while it still also meant 惑. Or the other way around, the grammatical function could have been original, ...


4

I did some research. Here is what I found: 1) 樂 first meant music instruments, pronounced 'ngok'(逆角切). In Japanese, it is がく[楽](gaku). 2) The meaning happy '悦/樂' first had the same pronunciation 樂 as in 音樂. This was probably the case in 战国 (周朝),because according to《爾雅·釋詁》(written after BC 476), 悦: 樂也。 3) In 唐韵 (written in 732 AD, 樂 meaning happy is ...


4

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 ...


4

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 ― ...


3

There is a specific case where 哪里 cannot be replaced by 哪儿. When one is praised or flattered, 哪里 or 哪里哪里 is generally considered a proper, polite and humble response in Chinese culture. Its literal meaning is "Where am I? I'm nowhere near as good as you imagine" (although you actually may be that good or even better). Note that it is rarely used among ...


3

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. ...


3

This guy gdfsljz made a post in the zdic forums I think it quite enlightening 丼 [汉字资料]: 粤方言中,此字则解释为粤语中dump的正字。贵州苗族中,有格丼(bong)一地,是苗语中圣地的意思。由于丼字是冷僻字,为了便于宣传,当地政府已将其改为格凸。字典解释[编辑本段]辞海:其一念 jǐng/ㄐㄧㄥˇ,即井字的古字;其二念 dǎn/ㄉㄢˇ,即东西投到井里的声音。语源由来辞典(日本):丼とは、食物を盛る茶碗より厚手で深い陶制の钵。どんぶり钵。また、どんぶり钵に入れた料理。(大意为:盖饭、比盛食物的碗更深的陶制钵。 ...


3

It’s unclear why the Bai people of Yunnan call themselves “Bai.” The history of the various ethnic groups in Southwest China is quite obscure, and there’s a degree of arbitrariness to the official categories, which date from the 1950s. There are other groups which are sub-divided by color on the basis of their dress, like the Miao – there are White, Blue, ...



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