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etymological dictionary and etymology of 行李箱


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calculatrix

Hello Experts,
is there a web source or a book that explains in English (!) the etymology of Chinese words (not characters)?
The reason for asking: I stumbled over the word 行李箱.
How did the plum tree get into the suitcase? Does somebody know?

Thank You

 

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Hey there, there is the 'ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese' just in case anyone interested stumbles into this topic. It's available for Wenlin and I believe Pleco. However it's of Old Chinese, so will not answer OP's question.

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According to Wiktionary it's simply a phonetic borrowing of the character that's existed since Old Chinese. Old source cited though.

 

Duffus, William (1883) , “baggage”, in English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular or Spoken Language of Swatow, Swatow: English Presbyterian Mission Press, page 16

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EDOC is licensed but not released, due to a combination of data processing issues + the fact that we still don't have a great system for appending notes / references / etc to dictionaries (and those are super important for that particular title).

 

We might take another stab at it after 4.0 is out but of course by that point modern Chinese will probably be considered Old Chinese 🙂

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Quote

@calculatrix -- "is there a web source or a book that explains in English (!) the etymology of Chinese words (not characters)?"

 

Would Outlier Linguistics be of help for your purpose? They got a lot of coverage here for a while, but seem to have somewhat dropped out of view. 

 

Here's an old link. At the bottom of it is a link to their website. 

 

https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/44854-resources-on-character-etymology/?tab=comments#comment-336265 

 

 

 
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Would definitely pay again to have EDOC in Pleco. I can understand why you might be struggling with it, even the guys at Wenlin had to throw up their hands on certain things and only half integrated it into their Zidian in the end.

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