Many Chinese words make a lot of sense when you consider the meanings of individual characters. However, others aren't quite as obvious at first glance.
For example, Why does 有机 as in 有机食品 mean organic? answers the question of why 有机 means "organic" (as in food).
My question is: Is there a good resource for looking up this kind of information, like a book, website, etc?
I'm not talking so much about glyph origin here, although that might be related--I'm talking more about the meanings of compound words or 成语 that don't quite seem (at first) to line up with the meanings of the individual characters.
More examples of the kind of information I'm hoping for this resource to contain:
- Why does 取缔 mean "to ban" when 取 means "to get" and 缔 is "close connection"?
- Why does 干脆 mean "straightforward/clear-cut"?
- Why does 马脚 mean "let the cat out of the bag"?
BTW I totally understand that some of these words may just be the way the are without a clear reason (there are tons of English words that just don't make a lot of sense), but some words, like 马脚 I'm sure have some interesting story behind them. I'd love to have some resources to be able to look these up besides Googling, which tends to be rather hit or miss.