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

enter image description here

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。




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

  • 1
    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, 2020 at 7:30
  • @dROOOze The CUHK quotes comprises "象" in "象人". Did I misconstrue this as elephant then?
    – NNOX Apps
    Sep 7, 2020 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, 2020 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


enter image description here

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

  • The CUHK quotes comprises "象" in "象人". Did I misconstrue this as elephant then?
    – NNOX Apps
    Sep 7, 2020 at 2:37
  • in ancient Chinese 象 and 像 are interchangable, 像 means looks like
    – arslan2012
    Sep 7, 2020 at 2:42
  • 象人腋下挾二器 = looks like a man with holding china under his armpit
    – arslan2012
    Sep 7, 2020 at 2:43

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