I have several resources and dictionaries that suggest the word 透 (tou) is pictophonetic where 辶 (chuo) suggests the meaning and 秀(xiu) provides the sound. This confuses me because 透 and 秀 do not seem to be related in sound. I assumed that this may be due to a classical chinese pronunciation but was unable to verify that or find more information.

What is the correct etymology here? thanks!


Pronoucing them in Cantonese will make sense to you.


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  • Yes, seems that Cantonese keeps lots of ancient Chinese words(both in pronouciation and meaning) – Siwei Shen 申思维 Jan 19 at 0:38

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