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15

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 ...


13

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'


12

The earliest texts with 乒乓 I can find is vernacular novels of Ming dynasty. 《西遊記》 Journey to the West as an example: 如此二三日,又聽得後宰門乒乓乒乓,磚瓦亂響。——Chapter 10 他掄槍舞劍,一擁前來,照行者劈頭亂砍,乒乒乓乓,砍有七八十下。——Chapter 14 乒乒乓乓,好便似殘年爆竹;潑潑喇喇,卻就如軍中炮聲。——Chapter 16 “乒” and “乓” are used together as onomatopoetic in history. :)


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

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 ― ...


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

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 ...


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

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.


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 ...


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

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 ...


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. ...


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

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 ...


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

亚 means inferior, hence Asia is an inferior continent? No, it has to do with approximating sounds with characters, and of the six available for ”meng”, 蒙 was perhaps considered most appropriate, for the reason you hint (home of grassland). Note that it was the invading Mongol Yuan dynasty who created the Mongol empire from nomadic tribes such as Xianbei and ...


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

"洗尘"usually used with"接风",like "接风洗尘"。 it's come from 明(Ming Dynasty)·凌蒙初(a scholar and offical)《二刻拍案惊奇》第26卷:“虽也送他两把俸金,几件人事,恰好侄儿也替他接风洗尘,只好直退。”(classical Chinese)。 When someone go far,we say "一路顺风"(I wish you a happy voyage),so when visitors come from afar we sad"接风",and after long travel with wind(顺风),there must be dust on visitors。 so we say "接风洗尘"。 ...


4

In 春秋左傳 (722/468 BCE). http://ctext.org/chun-qiu-zuo-zhuan has the statement 楚失華夏. Huaxia used to denote tribes that later became the Han people, and later the term shifted to symbolize China. Hua is the beautiful clothes worn by the Chinese, xia is for the grandness of the culture. 「中國有禮儀之大,故稱夏;有服章之美,謂之華。」《春秋左傳正義》 References: Wikipedia: Huaxia ...


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

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 ...


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): ...


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 ...



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