The lonely shepherd

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 6 16:51:03 UTC 2013

BB: <<<Weaver Girl and the Cowherd>>>
WB:  Mandarin <Niu2-lang2 Zhi1-nyu3>, roughly 'bovine+guy' 'weave+girl'.
The sinogram <lang2> glosses as 'man, husband, boyfriend' in dictionaries,
and occurs as second member of modern binomial male given names. I recall
Taiwanese students translating the star-crossed lovers with something
like <cow boy and weaving maid>. The folktale I most frequently collected
BTW was <Tao2-tai4-lang2> 'peach+big+guy', aka 'Peach Boy', borrowed from
Japanese <Momotaro^>.

The American Dialect Society -

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