"床" is bed, on which people sleep or lie.

But "临床" has the connection with medical profession and "东床" seems to be in relation to in-laws, but why is so? Because these two do not have any express features of sleeping or work which needs to be done in bed.

  • 床 bkrs:bed, couch; framework, chassis e。g。车床 lathe; turning machine; turning lathe; turning mill:东床(女婿) son-in-law cf。bkrs: 坦腹东床 :旧作女婿的美称:be a worthy son-in-law of sb. 1) ideal son-in-law 2) lie in bed with bared belly。临床{医} clinical:接触病人, 诊治疾病 (close to bed on which there is a patient) – user6065 Jul 24 '17 at 3:50
  • Thanks, but you haven't told me the reason why it is so. Why is a son-in-law called something in relation to a bed? Is that bed his position to stay at home or what? – NanningYouth Jul 24 '17 at 4:27
  • evidently 坦腹东床 describes modest unassuming behavior characterizing ideal son-in-law, web search will yield further explanation baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%9D%A6%E8%85%B9%E4%B8%9C%E5%BA%8A – user6065 Jul 24 '17 at 6:11

The term '临床' means "in front of the patient's bed or operation bed "

  • '临' (facing/ in front of)

  • '床' ( bed) here refers to '手术床'(operation bed) or 病床 (patient's bed)

  • '临床经验' means 'clinical experience'

The term '东床' came from the idiom 东床快婿,

The story of 东床快婿:

郄鉴 heard the sons of 王导 were all handsome gentleman. So, he wanted to marry his daughter to one of them. For that very reason, 郄鉴 sent a messenger to 王导's house to observe the young men in 王导's household in order to select one of them to be his son-in-law.

The messenger reported to 郄鉴 that all of them were pleasant gentleman and showed him great respect -- except for one. There was one bare-chested young man lay there in a bed on the east side of the room, ignoring all the commotion. 郄鉴 decided this bare-chested young man on the East-side bed was the finest young man among 王导's sons, and should be the husband of his daughter.

That bare-chested man on the East bed turned out to be the famous 王羲之 (Wang Xizhi).

That's the story of how '东床' (East bed) became a symbol of "worthy son-in-law"

  • in '东床快婿', '东床'(East bed)= '快婿'( a pleasant son-in-law)

Tang Ho has basically answered this already, I’ll just give what I have.

临床 is the same as the English bedside as in bedside manner of doctors.

东床 is explained in A Chinese-English dictionary as:

NOUN

eastern bed—son-in-law (from an anecdote about the celebrated calligrapher Wang Xizhi 王羲之 (321-379), who as a young man remained eating bare chested on the eastern bed when an official came to choose a son-in-law for the minister's daughter, and who was selected for his independence of mind over his well-behaved brothers)

东床快婿

dōngchuángkuàixù

a good son-in-law

So, yes, as you said 床 just means bed.

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