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1

I don't think there is a real consensus on this, but it seems to be a 会意-type character where the left side is a shortened form of 業. The meaning of the character is built up from the combination of these two elements: 業 - a pictograph representing a kind of stand for musical instruments facing one another 寸 - as a marker of action as with a hand So the ...


1

there're numerous ways to express "to give" in chinese. 70+, according to 漢語多功能字庫: http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/searchEnglish.php?freq=-1&word=give even an old dictionary in 19th century, "give" needs 2 volumes to explain. this question needs a long, long answer, have fun :)


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给 is the most common one and the equivalent to give in modern Chinese. And we do not use the single character 施. It is usually in words like 施舍, 施予 etc. Don't know where you see it meaning "waving banner" or "to spread". It just means normal to give in some words. However, this character have several means other than "give", which can be only identified ...


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Actually, I have asked myself the same question some time ago. I find the explanations that take the word "Mechanism"(机制)into account as a reference to biological systems when trying to explain how 有机 is connected to the meaning of "organic" rather good. However, when I asked my Chinese teacher about it she told me that it also might have to do with 机 as a ...


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Based on answer of @水巷孑蠻 and 象形字典,汉典, "施" originally means flag. 旗皃。从也聲。亝欒施字子旗,知施者旗也。式支切 -- 《说文解字》 But why it contains meaning of "spread, give" as well? I GUESS: because of wind. It's wind let flags waving, so a waving flag can be reflected to wind easily. Wind spreads tiny things, so it derive to the meaning "spread". Spread implies that something ...


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 "...


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(...


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Let me quote one guy: 同意评友呵呵“也”是“匜”的初文的观点。认为“也”表示低的意思:匜,古代洗手用具,有低凹面可盛水;池,存水的低处为池;地,地面以上的疙瘩墩为土,土以下即低于疙瘩底面为地;弛, 张弓即拉紧弓弦则弓背高,放松弓弦则弓背低为弛;驰,马飞奔则头与身段表现为低;扡同拖,把物体从低处拉出;他,认为比我们低一级的第三人称,古含贬义。猜:低凹的可存水的洗手用具是共用必须品,你洗手,我洗手,使得“也”有了“同样的并列的”意思。 I thinks it's a good model of the evolution of 也.


2

have a look of this page: http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/search.php?word=狀 狀(u+72c0)﹒犬形也(form, appearance of dog)﹒从犬﹒爿聲(爿 is sound component) 爿(u+723f) is a main component of chinese character: http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/bronzePiece.php?piece=爿 況(u+6cc1)﹒寒水也(cold water)﹒从水﹒兄聲(兄 is sound component)﹒ http://humanum.arts....


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Actually Xu Shen's rationalizations are not so much worse than yours: 状狀《說文》犬形也。从犬爿聲。 況况湟《說文》寒水也。从水兄聲。 It has to be admitted that neither explanation is particularly compelling or enlightening for the modern reader. As a learning crutch, how about these: 爿 a stick, a chip, a small piece of wood; I carve it to so it takes the 狀 shape of a 犬 dog. The 水 ...


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Well, each character you mentioned has multiple meanings. In my opinion: 神 here doens't mean god but means mind/consciousness. 经 means "passing by" as you said but it's a noun here. So put them together it means the pathway of mind/consciousness, which is nerve.


3

There are multiple definitons for 神. One of them can explain why 神经 means nerves/neurons: 心思,心力,注意力:劳~。凝~。~魂颠倒。 That is, 神 is used to express "thought", "mental", "attention". Therefore 神经 means "thought/mental/attention pathway", which is a pretty good description of nerves/neurons. As for why 神 means that as well as things like "god" and "...



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