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Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
老-bw.png
Stroke order
老-order.gif

Etymology[edit]

Ideogrammic compound (會意):  (an old man with long hair, bent over) +  (cane) – an old man, leaning on a cane. Compare top component to

Cognate to ; the most commonly cited example of 轉注 (zhuǎn zhù, reciprocal meaning).

老 老 老 老
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Large seal script Small seal script

Han character[edit]

(radical 125 +0, 6 strokes, cangjie input 十大心 (JKP), four-corner 44711, composition)

  1. old, aged
  2. experienced

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 960, character 25
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 28842
  • Dae Jaweon: page 1407, character 8
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 4, page 2778, character 1
  • Unihan data for U+8001

Chinese[edit]

-
simp. and trad.

Pronunciation[edit]


Middle Chinese pronunciation (, reconstructed)
Character (老), Pronunciation 1/1

Initial: 來 (37)
Final: 豪
Division: I

Openness: Open
Tone: Rising (X)

Fanqie: 盧晧切
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
Bernard
Karlgren
Li
Rong
Pan
Wuyun
Edwin
Pulleyblank
Wang
Li
Shao
Rongfen
/lɑuX/ /lɑuX/ /lɑuX/ /lɑuX/ /lawX/ /lɑuX/ /lɑuX/
Old Chinese pronunciation (, reconstructed)
Baxter-Sagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character Modern Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle Chinese Old Chinese English
lǎo ‹ lawX › /*C.rˤuʔ/ old

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter-Sagart system:

  • Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
  • Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
  • Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
  • Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;
  • Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character No. Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
Corresponding
MC rime
Old Chinese Notes
7666 1 /*ruːʔ/

Noun[edit]

  1. (classical) elderly
    以及 [MSC, trad. and simp.]
    Lǎo wú lǎo, yǐjí rén zhī lǎo. [Pinyin]
    Respect my elderly [parents], and then others' elderly.

Verb[edit]

  1. (classical) respect [an elderly]
    以及 [MSC, trad. and simp.]
    Lǎo wú lǎo, yǐjí rén zhī lǎo. [Pinyin]
    Respect my elderly [parents], and then others' elderly.

Adjective[edit]

  1. old, aged (for persons, animate and inanimate objects generally)
  2. experienced
  3. overcooked, tough, stringy, hard (used in reference to cooked food or meat)
    牛排 [MSC, trad.]
    牛排 [MSC, simp.]
    Niúpái tài lǎo le, wǒ yǎo bù dòng tā. [Pinyin]
    The steak was so tough I couldn't eat it.
    雞蛋掌握火候 [MSC, trad.]
    鸡蛋掌握火候 [MSC, simp.]
    Zhè jīdàn zhǔ lǎo le, nǐ mò zhǎngwò hǎo huǒhòu. [Pinyin]
    This egg is hard, you didn't time it properly.
  4. stale, not fresh (used in reference to food or potable liquids)
  5. always, all the time
    這樣 [MSC, trad. and simp.]
    Nǐ bié lǎo zhèyàng! [Pinyin]
    Stop being always like this!

Prefix[edit]

  1. (affectionate, respectful) Used before surnames () to refer to heads or elder members of families (compare for younger people).
    馬上趕緊收拾 [MSC, trad.]
    马上赶紧收拾 [MSC, simp.]
    Lǎo zhāng mǎshàng lái le, wǒ dé gǎnjǐn shōushí yī xià wū zǐ. [Pinyin]
    Old Zhang is going to be here any minute. I need to hurry up and straighten the room up a bit.
  2. (usually respectful and affectionate) Used by analogy in several other relationship terms
    /   ―  lǎoshī  ―  teacher
      ―  lǎo  ―  wifey
      ―  lǎogōng  ―  hubby
  3. (zoology) Used before several animals considered noxious or unpleasant
      ―  lǎo  ―  tiger
      ―  lǎoshǔ  ―  mouse
  4. (colloquial) Used before placenames, particularly countries, to form nouns
      ―  lǎowài  ―  (pejorative) foreigner, furriner, whitey
      ―  lǎoměi  ―  (pejorative) American person, Yank
    毛子  ―  lǎomáozǐ  ―  (pejorative) Russian person

Compounds[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 4 “Kyōiku” kanji)

  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.
  2. old age, an old person, the aged

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]


Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

(ro>no) (hangeul >, revised ro>no, McCune-Reischauer ro>no, Yale lo>no)

  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.

Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(lão, láu, lảo, lảu, rảu, lẩu, lẽo, lếu)

  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.