麻將

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Chinese[edit]

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simpl.
trad.

Etymology[edit]

From 麻雀 (máquè, "sparrow"), with a diminutive suffix /ŋ̍/ (syllabic velar nasal) from some Wu dialect (compare Modern Wenzhou dialect /ŋ̍/). This suffix then fused with the preceding syllable, and was conserved in the form of a nasal rime /-ŋ/. As an example compare Modern Shanghai dialect (old pron.: /t͡ɕiᴀʔ⁵⁵/) + /-ŋ̍/ /t͡ɕiã⁵³/.

The game of mahjong was called "馬吊" during the Ming and Qing dynasties, where the second syllable presumably represented a Wu dialectal pronunciation of ("bird", see there for more).

Pronunciation[edit]


Noun[edit]

麻將

  1. mahjong
  2. sparrow

Synonyms[edit]