the "俄" part seems to have no corresponding phoneme, either in Russian or any of the other language I have looked up.
Yes it's peculiar in Chinese. It's related to the Mongolian.
Summarize it in short:
From Yuan Dynasty, the Mongolian translated 罗斯 as oros (but not ros) followed by the Mongolian pronunciation habit, ...
The Story of 没
As other commenters have noted, looking for logic in language is almost always futile. No natural language is logical. But there is a historical logic to language development; even if the existence of a phrase is a historical accident, it's sometimes interesting to see when that "accident" took place, and why.
Such is the case with 没. One ...
This is an interesting topic; it touches one of the core idea of the Chinese language.
The Chinese language and all its dialects have not been designed by one inventor at one specific day. Instead, they were created and evolved at different regions through thousands of years at least.
Evidences (see below) showed that some of the Chinese characters from ...
Rather than saying that 两 is used with nouns, I would say that 两 is used with measure words. If you use any type of measure word with the number 2, use 两. For convenience, I've identified 3 types of measure words:
Standard measure words, e.g. 两个人、两本书、两棵树.
Numbers that are larger than 100, e.g. 两百, 两千三百六十二. 百, 千, and 万 can be seen as a sort of measure word.
No. The Cyrillic script is based on the Greek script, and some other local scripts like Hebrew. The basis for sha is thought to be the Hebrew letter ש (shin).
It's unlikely that shin is based on the Chinese character, either. It seems taken from the Phoenician alphabet, where the corresponding letter looks like a Latin W.
It's worth keeping in mind that ...
This is actually not one character, but a stylistic conglomeration of the characters in the phrase 招財進寶, meaning "ushering in wealth and prosperity".
The characters 財 and 寶 end up being represented with the same 貝 component in this "character". While the left side of 招 (扌) and the right side of 財 (才) are technically not the same component, they look similar ...
I've only heard it used in describing sexual situations, and wiktionary.org describes its usage as follows:
This idiom usually only refers to a man taking advantage of a woman in a sexual situation.
A typical example would be some creepy guy pinching the flight attendant's backside as she walks past.
There's also a good discussion at wordreference.com.
Let the "foot" meaning of 足 be A, the "plenty, enough" meaning be B. Will discuss about this topic in the following two sections.
First, 現代漢語規範詞典 第二版 ("Modern Chinese Standard Dictionary" 2nd Edition) suggests that meaning A and meaning B come from different origin, though they share the same character currently.
Figure 1. Meanings of 足 in ...
Etymology of 一, 二, and 三
Explanation of 一/二/三 in 象形字典 (Dictionary of Pictographs)
一 is a special self-explanatory character. The ...
The 月字旁 was originally '肉' & not '月' - 肉 has the meaning of 肉体 meaning 'flesh' or having to do with the 'human body' so it's often seen with body parts.
Over its long history of usage, the meaning of 息 has evolved.
Yes, 息 has the connotation of message.
(5) 消息 [message]
Its original meaning is to breathe;pant.
And then the meaning was extended,
[ Breathing slowly was called 息, ...
的 in its function as a particle is attested in the 四大名著 Four Great Classical Novels, which are written in a vernacular Mandarin-type language, dating from the Ming dynasty. The particle use of 的 is also attested from the Yuan dynasty, when it seems it was adopted for the grammatical particle of the emerging new literary language. Its earliest attestation is ...
豚 is pronounced tun2 in Mandarin and tyun4 in Cantonese.
The only word I know which still uses it is 海豚 hai3tun2 "dolphin". The Japanese reading is ton (on), buta (kun), as I'm sure you know.
豚 was the original character (with the meat radical on the left hand side), while 猪 meant a wild pig (which is suggested by its radical). Japanese borrowings from ...
There is not an entry of 妖 in the 《說文解字》.
The interpretation of 𡝩 in the 《說文解字注》 mentions 俗省作妖.
𡝩 [ yāo | ㄧㄠ ]
It means that 𡝩 is used to be simplified to 妖.
That is, the original form of 妖 is 𡝩.
《說文解字》 explains 𡝩 as follows.
皃 [ ...
Interesting, but this is a coincidence.
Baby comes from a reduplicated Proto-Germanic root *bō-, which is cognate to English boy, appended with a diminutive suffix -y.
寶貝 comes from the meaning rare/precious seashells; this usage is attested at least since the Han dynasty. As a term of endearment, this started appearing as early as in the novel Dream of ...
The gender neutral form of the term 先生 is an antiquated Chinese title used for addressing a knowledgeable person who is your senior. This person could be a teacher, a principal, a scholar, a professor or a doctor.
This term, which literally means "born (生) before (先)", has been in use for a very long time. Somebody who is born before you would be your ...
EDIT: Also refer to Aminopterin's answer and Travis Hu's answer for more insights.
After some research, I found two reasonable explanations. But, IMHO, the two should be compiled as the following:
老 is a prefix that is added to make 虎 and 鼠 easier to pronounce; besides, it implies that people respect 虎 and fear 鼠.
The two explanations as follow:
The Phonology of Standard Chinese by San Duanmu (端木三) has an entire chapter devoted to this topic (The Word Length Problem):
In this section I review six previous approaches to the disyllabic phenomenon in Chinese. For convenience, I call them (a) the homophone-avoidance approach, (b) the speech-tempo approach, (c) the grammatical approach, (d) the rhythm ...
There were more than 10 names for USA in history.
亚墨利加国, after 1776;
花旗国, after 1784;
咪唎坚国, after 1784;
咩哩干国, after 1820;
亚美利加兼合国, after 1833;
弥利坚国，即育奈士迭国, after 1836;
美理哥国, 美理哥合省国, 美理哥兼摄邦国, 1838;
美利坚合众国(美国), after 1902;
美利坚合众国, determined in 1913;
Translation: In ancient times, the host was seated to the east and the guest to the west, so the host was called "East".
Personally I have also heard it is because the Sun rises from the east, thus east is seen as the 'emic', or the 'theme'
From the wikipedia article:
目前「萌」大多使用在二次元裡，如果遇到刻意將現實世界（三次元）的人套用到二次元的審美的情況，也有可能用到「萌」。 不過這種狀況十分稀少，因為三次元的人通常難以構成萌屬性。 現在「燃え」在中文界解作萌的相對詞，是對熱血的喜愛。
Wiki page of 牛排 gives a clue of its etymology, written by, 姚德懷, the current chairman of 香港中國語文學會 (The Chinese Language Society of Hong Kong Ltd.), a non-profit organization in Hong Kong. Here's a summary:
According to 漢語大詞典, the word 牛排 has been cited in some novels in Qing Dynasty in the beginning of 20th century. Such as:
角 came from 銀角, which was historically a currency that represented a fraction of the silver coin (銀元). 元 came from 圓, a description of the coin's circular shape. A theory for 角's use is that since the basic meaning of 角 is a horn; by extension it came to be used to describe "things that looks like horns". And from there, "corners" 角落, "angles" 角度, etc. ...
In Old Chinese, it is generally thought that some words followed regular morphological alternations (which are preserved in a few places in MSM, but "frozen", i.e., no longer productive). For instance:
处 chu3 "to dwell" / chu4 "a place"
数 shu3 "to count" / shu4 "a number"
知 zhi1 "to know" / (also 智) zhi4 "knowledge"
The earliest texts with 乒乓 I can find is vernacular novels of Ming dynasty.
《西遊記》 Journey to the West as an example:
“乒” and “乓” are used together as onomatopoetic in history. :)
言 (yan2) is the root of all words meaning talk. It says so in the 說文解字 (a dictionary from the Han dynasty):
The origin of the character 言 is a picture of a person with a big mouth. In ancient Chinese, it’s the general word for any form of speech or talking. In modern Chinese, it has become literary and is normally only used in compound words like ...
The name of "Éluósī" does not come from English or Russian. It may come from
During the Chinese Yuan and Ming dynasties the Russian ethnic group was called "Luósī" or "Luóchàguó". At that time as ...
二 (èr) is used (with nouns), if you are talking about their order, but if you are counting how many, 两 (liăng) is used (also with nouns). Stated concisely:
两 (liăng) is a cardinal number, as in, 两个 (liăng-ge) 'two of something.'
二 (èr) is an ordinal number, as in, 第二个 (dì èr-ge) 'the second thing.'
Perhaps more common in speech are the cardinal numbers, as ...