1. Doubtless, humans must open or unravel their mouths to breathe. But how does unrolling or untying semantically relate to resting?

  2. How did 攴 ('rap, tap') semantically shift to mean these definitions?

I couldn't find on CUHK or Taiwan MOE, and I don't know what other Cantonese homophone to attempt. Wikipedia romanizes as tǒu in Pinyin, but p 951 on ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003) purportedly hasn't listed some of the other meanings.

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Yellowbridge isn't befitting my browser, and I can't screenshot the entirety of its character decomposition.

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1 Answer 1


I think you're overcomplicating this.

  • 咅 = tǒu = provides the sound
  • 攵 = general movement/action = provides the meaning.

The components of 敨 basically just tell you that it is that verb pronounced tǒu. Seeing that it is used widely in dialects it is even more likely that it is just borrowed for its sound (and meaning of general movement) and used to fit where ever it seems rational.

I have seen other variants of this character in Sichuanese, like: 㪗 and ⿰咅支. I'm not sure if there is an accepted standard set character as many resources disagree.

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