The Chinese idiom " 不翼而飞" contains the character 翼 meaning wings, but how could one fly without wings?
Here 不翼 = 无翼 ？ I'm confused.
I am aware of the fact that the saying means "vanish into the air or disappear without trace".
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飞 means fly. You leave footsteps if you run away, but you leave no trace if you fly away. It disappeared with no trace and you don't know the reason/how.
It's reasonable if it "has wings" (because there is no trace), but it doesn't have any, so the disappearance makes people wonder how did it happen.
It is an idiom so it doesn't have to be something actually has wings. For example, you can say your book 不翼而飞了。
I don't have enough points to comment yet but 不胫而走 is quite different.
I don't study language, here is what I think:
Idioms, or rather, Classical Chinese is grammatically much different than Modern Chinese. Back then, you can have a greater freedom on how you write and words with similar meanings can be used alternatively but in Modern Chinese, we tend to centralize meanings of characters more and use less of the other meanings.
This is the definition of 不: http://xh.5156edu.com/html3/1680.html
So, one meaning of
没有, but it is not the most commonly used meaning of