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I am learning the word 独 dú alone.

Dog plus Insect become alone? Any ancient history or story behind this?

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    If you're planning to learn Chinese Characters through exploring character structure, Simplified Chinese is going to make life very difficult for you. – dROOOze Mar 2 at 8:03
  • Added 〔獨〕. I think this is traditional character. Will this traditional character helps? Thanks for your replies – user27485 Mar 2 at 8:14
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There is no 「虫」 (venomous snake; insect) in the character, that is an abbreviation used in Simplified Chinese. The orthodox character is 「獨」.


「獨」 is made up of semantic 「犬・犭」 (dog > beast) and phonetic 「蜀」 (Mandarin Pinyin: shǔ, Li Fang-Kuei OC: /*djuk/), originally representing the name of a mythical beast. From the Classic of Mountains and Seas: Classic of the Mountains: North:

《山海經・北山經・北次二經》

……曰北嚻之山,無石,其陽多碧,其陰多玉。有獸焉,其狀如虎,而白身犬首,馬尾彘鬛,名曰獨𤞞。……

...It is called the Mountain of 北嚻. This mountain is without boulders; its southern side is abundant with green jade, and its northern side is abundant with nephrite. There is a beast in this mountain, shaped like a tiger with a white body; it has the head of a dog, tail of a horse, and neck-bristles of a boar. Its name is 「獨𤞞」...

獨𤞞

「獨𤞞」 were two characters created specifically to represent the name of this beast (Mandarin Pinyin: dú gǔ, Li Fang-Kuei OC: /*duk kuk/), which consists of two reduplicated syllables.


The meaning alone, solitary for the character 「獨」 is a rebus borrowing for this word; there were other borrowed characters for this word in the pre-Qín era, most prominently

  • 「蜀」 itself;
  • 「鹿」

References:

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