chau gong

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Jul 3 17:52:14 UTC 2008

I see that Doug's citation page for Chinese characters is much better
than Wikipedia. I'll use that in the future!

Other meanings I see in my Japanese Chinese character dictionary are
"copy", and a unit of volume from which it also means miniscule
amount. It seems possible that chao1 could be taken to indicate small

Doug's citation of has links to two items with the
character. One is
xiangchao.htm which is essentially cymbals, so the miniscule meaning
would more or less fit.

The other, though
includes chao gongs up to 170 cm (in diameter?). Of course, chao gongs
might have been smaller and then the name might have stuck.

Probably the true reason for using that character has to do with a
merchant during the Han dynasty, who..., but FWIW. Thanks again for
the help. BB

On Jul 3, 2008, at 4:35 AM, LanDi Liu wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: chau gong
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Most of the stuff (by far) that comes up from searching "chau gong" is
> about Chinese gongs, so one would assume (if assumptions aren't too
> dangerous) that the etymology is Chinese.  The correct character, as
> Doug Wilson asserted, is probably æ „. has 2,800 raw
> hits
> for æ „é”£ (chao1luo2), which isn't terribly much, but maybe enough
> considering that there are many different names for many different
> kinds of gongs/tamtams in China, most of which are probably translated
> into English as "chau gong" or "Chinese gong".  So as far as the
> English etymology of "chau gong", that's probably it.  The Chinese
> etymology of "æ „" (chao1) may be another interesting pursuit.  It
> seems
> strange that that character was chosen, as it means "to copy, search,
> or take".  None of the words that contain it that I can find in a
> large dictionary have anything to do with sound.  It would make more
> sense if it was "吵", which means "noise", but that only gets 6 Baidu
> hits, so that's most likely a "misspelling".
> Randy
> On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 7:19 AM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at>
> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
>> Subject:      Re: chau gong
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> At the "Chinagong" web-site --
>> -- in the left-hand column, the first item is a "chao1 luo2", i.e.,
>> "chao gong" as listed on the parallel English-language page.
>> The character for "chao" is this one:
>> I don't know why that's the name of the gong: maybe it's an arbitrary
>> phonetic transcription of something else, maybe it's a place name,
>> maybe
>> .... Other sites also show this Chinese 'spelling'.
>> -- Doug Wilson
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -

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