chau gong

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jul 3 11:23:08 UTC 2008

My gratitude for the quick work on this, and to DW, too.

The character doesn't come through in the archive (for my e-mail,
either). It's the character meaning copy, confiscate, seize atā
o (where the final "a" has a macron over it).

A minor point, but since the first character in da chaoluo is large,
chau probably comes from either plain chaoluo or some other variant. BB

On Jul 2, 2008, at 11:34 AM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: chau gong
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 ´ó³ èŒ "da chaoluo" as the name of a big gong:
> So in that case the relevant word would be ³  "chao" (Cantonese
> "caau1"):
> --Ben Zimmer
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> The American Dialect Society -

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