CUHK doesn't expound why sheep are admired or coveted? Below is Yellowbridge.

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  • You need to read Shuowen (说文解字) if you want to understand Hanzi origins.
    – Spin Lee
    Jul 5 at 10:42
  • 2
    What do you mean "CUHK doesn't expound". It says clearly 小篆從「羊」從「㳄」,甲骨文「㳄」象人張口流口水形,「羨」象見羊美而涎欲下(林義光)。
    – dROOOze
    Jul 5 at 11:17
  • @drOOZE But why does "「㳄」象人張口流口水形"? Why "「羨」象見羊美而涎欲下"? Perhaps the issue is that I don't find sheep beautiful or special. How can "羊` cause you to salivate? Why did the Chinese find sheep so "美"?
    – Coosf
    Jul 7 at 5:44
  • 1
    ancient Chinese used 三牲 goats, pigs, and cattle for offering to gods, 羊 was singled out as a symbol of delicious because 1. it is meat 2. it is the smallest out of the three, people had more chance to slaughter a goat for a family feast than a pig or cattle. BTW, the character 鮮 is made up of 魚 and 羊. ( goat meat and fish represent 'fresh' because they cannot be served in a feast if they are not fresh
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 7 at 14:19

Here 羊 is a reduced form of 羑, which means advance(進善) by Shuowen(说文解字).

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