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饮食起居: 饮(drink), 食(food), 起(?), 居(house).

What does "起" mean?

百度百科:

饮食起居,拼音是yǐn shí qǐ jū,出自《祭杜祁公文》,解释为指人的日常生活。

2

起居 is a word in and of itself.

规范》defines it as:

活动和休息;指日常生活。

The breakdown goes something like this:

  • 起 = 活动

  • 居 = 休息

So 起 here basically means to be active.

  • could you please leave a reference to <规范>? – Algebra Aug 27 at 2:34
  • @Algebra I don't have a link for Guifan, but you can see《两岸》instead: moedict.tw/~%E8%B5%B7%E5%B1%85 "活動和休息;借指日常生活。" – user3306356 Aug 27 at 3:42
3

You should be aware of the contrasting pairs in this phrase.

  • 飲 (to drink)
  • 食 (to eat [not food])
  • 起 (to rise up, get up > be active)
  • 居 (to rest)

Like in English, when a pair of opposites in a category are stated, it sometimes means all things of that category.

  • The beautiful and the ugly
  • All folks, old and young
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I think the whole phrase 饮食起居 means your daily regimen. Otherwise, split it into pairs.

饮食:(your) drink and food = food and drink
起居:(your) everyday life

The place where you 起 (rise, start the day) is the place where you 居 (live, stop at the end of the day). Life is what happens in between. (Unless you are on holiday. I love the phrase 假日, 'false days' as a brilliant antonym to 饮食起居。 Days when you do something different.)

What does "起" mean?

Where you start your day.

  • Very smart explaination. – Algebra Aug 27 at 23:52
  • The explanation of "假日" as "false day" is incorrect. It's simply "day for rest." You may refer to 康熙字典: 又【集韻】【韻會】居迓切【正韻】居亞切,音價。 休沐 也。【晉書·王尼傳】護軍與尼長假。【歐陽修·題跋】言旬休,皆休假也。 – Stan Aug 28 at 2:31

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