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p 865, ABC Chinese–English Comprehensive Dictionary (2003). I can't access the "slightly revised through July 2005" ed.

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I Google-translated CUHK's etymology, but what semantic notions underlie the elephant quoted below and definitions 1 and 2 above?

Synopsis  : 甲金文從「」從二◎,在「」(人形)的左右腋下分別加◎,◎變化多端,或為火形,或與豆形近,或為圓形,或為交叉之斜畫。季旭昇謂象人腋下挾二器,以會左右相配之意,本義是相配,引申表示配偶、輔相。

Elaboration: 甲金文從「」從二◎,在「」(人形)的左右腋下分別加◎,◎變化多端,或為火形,或與豆形近,或為圓形,或為交叉之斜畫。季旭昇謂象人腋下挾二器,以會左右相配之意,本義是相配,引申表示配偶、輔相。

  甲金文表示配偶,《合集》36186「示壬爽妣庚」,即示壬及其配偶妣庚。二祀𠨘其卣:「遘于匕(妣)丙肜日大乙爽」,表示適逢大乙的配偶妣丙肜日之祭。金文還表示輔相、輔助,夨令方尊:「今我隹令(命)女(汝)二人亢眔夨爽左右于乃寮以(與)乃友事。」表示我命令亢和夨兩人輔助你們的同僚和友官。又表示差錯,散氏盤:「余又(有)爽[宀䜌],鞭千罰千。」

  此外,典籍「昧爽」(天將亮而尚暗之時)之「」,金文寫作從「」從「」,「」標聲,「」是義符,從不寫作「」,典籍作「」應是假借字。

  《說文》:「爽,明也。从㸚从大。𤕤,篆文爽。」段玉裁注:「爽本訓明。明之至而差生焉,故引伸訓差也。朝旦之時,半昧半明,故謂之早昧爽。」

Yellowbridge purports a different etymology, but I don't quote it for CUHK's trustworthier.

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    Replace all occurrences of 象 with 像 then run the translation program again. There is no mention of “elephant” in the CUHK text. – dROOOze Sep 5 at 7:30
  • @dROOOze The CUHK quotes comprises "象" in "象人". Did I misconstrue this as elephant then? – NNOX Apps Sep 7 at 2:37
  • Yes - see definitions 15-17 at wiktionary here. The word xiàng meaning appears as if, resemble is widely spelled as 象, even though in an unambiguous manner it would be written as 像. Automatic translators will make egregious mistakes when translating the character 象, spitting out the word "elephant". – dROOOze Sep 7 at 3:19
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I have no idea where did you get elephant from?

This is clearly a guy holding his hand out to a fire in a cold winter.

so 爽 means feeling sweet/great

| improve this answer | |
  • The CUHK quotes comprises "象" in "象人". Did I misconstrue this as elephant then? – NNOX Apps Sep 7 at 2:37
  • in ancient Chinese 象 and 像 are interchangable, 像 means looks like – arslan2012 Sep 7 at 2:42
  • 象人腋下挾二器 = looks like a man with holding china under his armpit – arslan2012 Sep 7 at 2:43

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