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Translingual[edit]

Han character[edit]

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

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

Glyph origin[edit]

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

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 轉注转注 (zhuǎnzhù, “reciprocal meaning”).

Etymology[edit]

Unknown. Compare Proto-Sino-Tibetan *s-raw (withered, residue, corpse), *rwat (stiff, tough), whence Burmese ရော် (rau, wither, become overripe; age), ရွတ် (rwat, old, stiff, tough). See also , .

An old Sino-Vietnamese borrowing is rệu (overripe, pulpy).

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/

Definitions[edit]

  1. old, aged (for persons, animate and inanimate objects generally)
  2. the elderly, one's elders
  3. experienced
  4. to respect (the elderly, one's elders)
  5. overcooked, tough, stringy, hard (used in reference to cooked food or meat)
  6. stale, not fresh (used in reference to food or potable liquids)
  7. always, all the time
  8. (chiefly dialectal) very, quite
  9. (affectionate, respectful) Used before surnames to refer to heads or elder members of families.
    (for younger people)
  10. (usually respectful and affectionate) Used by analogy in several other relationship terms.
    • /   ―  lǎoshī  ―  teacher
    •   ―  lǎo  ―  wifey
    •   ―  lǎogōng  ―  hubby
  11. (zoology) Used before several animals considered noxious or unpleasant.
    •   ―  lǎo  ―  tiger
    •   ―  lǎoshǔ  ―  mouse
  12. (colloquial) Used before placenames, particularly countries, to form nouns.
    •   ―  lǎowài  ―  (pejorative) foreigner, furriner, whitey
    •   ―  lǎoměi  ―  (pejorative) American person, Yank
    • 毛子  ―  lǎomáozi  ―  (pejorative) Russian person

Compounds[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 4 “Kyōiku” kanji)

  1. old age, an elderly person, the aged, the elderly

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}}.