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詞類 英文意義
n. shoes; footstep
v. tread on; experience; put on; ascend the throne; fulfill; assume

http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/search.php?word=%E5%B1%A5

Is this etymology related to ancient kings who used pedestals to put their feet on while sitting on the throne?

Besides, I know that Chinese emperors wore shoes with "the best silk and the hand embroidery".

In ancient China, different shoes were worn to suit particular occasions. Wedding shoes were either pink or red, and embroidered with auspicious bird and floral patterns. In the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), brides wore wooden sandals painted with floral patterns and tied with five colorful silk straps, and Manchurian brides of the Qing Dynasty wore blue cloth shoes embroidered with the red double “happiness” characters.

In feudal China, the social status of people could be perceived from the shoes they wore. In the Southern Dynasty (420–589), ordinary people were permitted to wear straw or coarse-fiber cloth shoes colored in blue, green or white only, while nobles wore leather and silk shoes. The Western Jin (265–317) ruler, in his distaste for merchants, and wishing them to be immediately distinguishable, decreed that their footwear should comprise one black and one white shoe. The Qing Dynasty stipulated that bright yellow footwear was reserved solely for the emperor, golden yellow shoes were for nobles, and those of an apricot-yellow shade were for the common people.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2008-09/26/content_11569590_2.htm

But I am missing the big picture. Please assist me connect the dots from "shoes" to "fulfill; assume"?

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  • The verb 履行 might provide some insight. It means "to fulfill (one's promise); to perform (one's duty, a contract, etc.); to carry out" in contemporary Chinese, but "to walk" in Classical Chinese, according to Wiktionary.
    – L. F.
    Jul 24 at 11:55
  • 1
    In English the saying "fill somebody's shoes" seems related here: To replace someone in some role; those shoes = that role
    – Pedroski
    Jul 24 at 23:10
  • also: follow in somebody's footsteps
    – Pedroski
    Jul 24 at 23:28

2 Answers 2

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fulfill here should mean perform, implement

The basic meaning of "履" is to walk in shoes and trample.

ancient times, When transferring land possession or use rights, a scope survey is usually required, and the survey requires walking measurement, so the meaning extends to walking.

Since "履" is related to walking, it is related to people's experience, so it is extended to mean "experience"

例如 "履历" :curriculum vitae

Also because of this meaning. "Experience" is to do something, which by extension means "perform, implement"

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The original/primary meaning of 履 is "walk" and "step on" (both are verbs), then after the "warring states period (战国時期), the use of it to mean "shoes (noun)" has gained ground.

The use of it to mean "resume" is extended from the original meaning - as a job seeker needs to indicate the history of jobs he has "walked thru (履 -experienced)". From this extension, it is later further extended to mean 执行、实施, as one uses that experience to do/execute/fulfill something.

“履”的基本义是穿鞋行走、践踏的意思。据考证,“履”在战国之前只用作动词义,而名词性的“鞋子”一般用“屦(jù)”。战国以后,“履”表“鞋子”义的用法才渐渐多了起来。如郑人买履、削足适履。 [17]

“履”既然和行走相关,就和人的经历有了联系,因此引申表示“经历”,例如戴震《与方希原书》中写道:“凡事履而后知,历而后难。”凡事要经历之后才知道。求职用的**“履历”**,也是这个含义。“经历”是要去做一些事情,引申表示“履行、实施”,例如《礼记·表记》中说:“处其位而不履其事,则乱也。”是说在他的位置而不履行他该做的事情,就要出乱子。能履行、实施一定事情方案的人都处于一定的位置,因此“履”又引申表示“居、处”,例如《新序·杂事四》中说:“夫执国之柄,履民之上。”“履”作“处”讲。 [16]

https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%B1%A5/10800959

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