2

迁就 (qiān​jiù​)
CC-CEDICT: to yield / to adapt to / to accommodate to (sth)

Breaking this apart, we have:

迁 (qiān​)
CC-CEDICT: to move / to shift / to change (a position or location etc) / to promote

就 (​jiù​)
CC-CEDICT: at once / right away / only / just (emphasis) / as early as / already / as soon as / then / in that case / as many as / even if / to approach / to move towards / to undertake / to engage in / to suffer / subjected to / to accomplish / to take advantage of / to go with (of foods) / with regard to / concerning

Here, 迁 makes sense: something is indeed changing. However, I don't understand what 就 is doing in this word.

Question: Why is there a 就 in 迁就?

1
  • 就 means get, accept, etc. 就位 => in your place. May 29 at 9:07
3

就 has the sense of 依从 (to yield or accommodate oneself to) by itself as in 半推半就, 迁就.

Colloquially, we have a word 就手(儿) which denotes a similar sense. E. g. 我就手儿把这事办了。

3

Why is there a 就 in 迁就?

迁, like the English word "move", is too indefinite / general to be of much use in specific situations.

So, if we want to say "to move / to shift / to change" one's position physically, you say 迁移, (like migrating to somewhere)

However, if it is to "to move / to shift / to change / to alter" one's position in an "intangible / abstract / non-material / subjective" way, in order to adapt, to realign one's intellectual, conceptual, moral position to accommodate someone else's, (to achieve a consensus for example), then you need more than just 迁.

That's when 就 comes in; as a verb it could be equivalent to the English "with regards to"

Thus when 迁 is combined with 就 we create the compound to mean "to move / to shift / to change / to alter" one's position "with regards to" someone else's intellectual position or moral standpoint, i.e. "to accommodate"

2

If you parse 遷就 very literally, they both mean 'to move', but here is a verb which also means 'to move towards (sb.)'. Of course it doesn't mean 接近 'to approach (sb.)' here; it's more figurative. I guess you could think of that as saying, you yield yourself to someone. (Just a side note: the unwillingness / negative connotation is less in 遷就 than 將就) Frankly the logic in English (the preposition to) and Chinese is the same.

2
  • 1. I think it's very useful to look at 迁就 alongside 将就 as they share a common structure and similar meanings. // 2. You seem to be saying that in 迁就 , part of what 就 is doing is to function like the English preposition "to". However I find the last sentence of this answer "Frankly the logic..." a bit confusing. The same in this specific case or more generally? Perhaps elaborating a little could be helpful here. May 31 at 9:27
  • @goPlayerJuggler I was referring to the “to” in the English equivalent of 就 (“yield to someone”) in my answer.
    – L Parker
    May 31 at 13:35
2

After a long discussion about 就, I concluded that there are three basic definitions of 就

1.then; right away

2.only; just

3.near; close to

  • 迁 = move

  • 就 = close to

  • 迁就: to accommodate; yield to

The idiom 移船就磡 is a good example of why 迁就 means 'to accommodate' -- The ship moves to get close and fit into the port, not the other way around. In short, a ship must 迁就 the port

If someone in a stand which he wouldn't move away from, you accommodate him by moving yourself toward his stand

Let me give an example:

My Korean girlfriend loves Korean food, but I love Chinese food. So we have a different opinion or desire, I move from mine and get close to hers, and that is I 迁就 her (she was the port and I was the ship) we will go to a Korean restaurant

2

就 here means to approach, to move toward. For example, 以碗就口 means when eating, move the rice bowl toward one's mouth. The other way around would be 以口就碗. This is the way animals such as dogs and cats eat. They move their mouth toward the bowl to eat.

遷就 means one changes/gives up one's will/desire and choose/adapt to other's will/desire.

0

It seems we all agree 迁 means to move. It's a verb to me and 就 is likely to be a noun. Referring from this website https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%B0%B1/1942923?fr=aladdin#7_1. In 古文解释 《说文解字》,就,高也。从京从尤。尤,异於凡也。saying that the meaning of 就 is "tall", "away from (being) ordinary" (I'm not sure about 从高从尤 but I think it's about pronunciation). Thus, maybe u can express 迁 as to move/shift (away from where it should be) and 就 as a special need/demand/desire which shows it is different from what a person is fine with, so 迁就 is equivalent to compromise one's need.

就 can also be an adverb to describe how to 迁,but I don't feel this is the case here.

2
  • It's problematic to see 就 as a noun because 遷就 itself is transitive.
    – L Parker
    May 28 at 23:43
  • @LParker Well, in the past each character has a meaning in general except things like 之乎者也 and some phrases are used very differently in past and nowadays. For example 妻子 refers to 妻 and 子 in the past. Other similar cases are quite prevalent especially in 成语. Thus, I believe 就 has a meaning here unless there is an example showing 就 has similar role as 之乎者也 here. It may not be a noun but u need to explain the meaning/function of 就.
    – Guanzzz
    May 31 at 9:47
-1

You can't use 就 to express 迁就。

You can't use 迁 to express 迁就

That's why there is a 就 in 迁就。

1
  • I downvoted because I do not see how this is helpful or answers the question. May 31 at 9:29

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