chau gong

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jul 2 18:34:40 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> Does anyone know the origin of "chau" as in "chau gong"? The best I
> can get is èd (simplified ïï), which says is
> pronounced as cha, tone 3. I found that character at http://
>, which is only slightly better
> than a wild guess. It seems possible that this is pronounced chau in
> Cantonese or some other dialect, but I cannot find the character èd
> in any dictionaries even to confirm the meaning. Gong itself
> evidently comes from Malay (AHD) or Javanese (the Net), so chau might
> not even be Chinese... BB

I'm no Sinologist, but I'm sure the "chau" element does not derive
from Malay/Javanese like "gong". (Javanese by way of Malay would be
most accurate. Many Javanese terms borrowed elsewhere got there via
the trading language Malay.)

The common Chinese term for "gong" is èŒ "luo" (Cantonese "lo4").
Various sites list ´ó³­èŒ "da chaoluo" as the name of a big gong:

So in that case the relevant word would be ³­ "chao" (Cantonese "caau1"):

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list