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See also:
U+8001, 老
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-8001
耀
[U+8000]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+8002]
U+F934, 老
CJK COMPATIBILITY IDEOGRAPH-F934

[U+F933]
CJK Compatibility Ideographs
[U+F935]

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
6 strokes
Stroke order
老-order.gif

Han character[edit]

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

  1. Kangxi radical #125, .

Derived characters[edit]

References[edit]

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

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Chu Slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
老-oracle.svg 老-bronze.svg 老-silk.svg 老-seal.svg 老-bigseal.svg

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

Cognate to (OC *kʰluːʔ); the most commonly cited example of 轉注 (“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]


Note:
  • sē, la̿u, lo̤̿ - vernacular;
  • lǎu - literary.
  • Min Dong
  • Note:
    • lâu - vernacular;
    • lō̤ - literary.
  • Min Nan
  • Note:
    • lāu/lǎu - vernacular;
    • láu - vernacular (sometimes considered literary);
    • làu - vernacular (limited, e.g. 老闆);
    • lǎ - vernacular (limited, e.g. 老鶚);
    • ló/ló͘/nó͘ - literary.
    Note:
    • lao6 - vernacular;
    • lao2 - literary.
  • Wu
  • Xiang

    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (37)
    Final () (89)
    Tone (調) Rising (X)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () I
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /lɑuX/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /lɑuX/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /lɑuX/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /lawX/
    Li
    Rong
    /lɑuX/
    Wang
    Li
    /lɑuX/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /lɑuX/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    lǎo
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    lǎo
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ lawX ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*C.rˁuʔ/
    English 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
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 7666
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    1
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*ruːʔ/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. old; aged; elderly (for persons, animate and inanimate objects generally)
    2. the elderly; one's elders
    3. (figuratively) experienced
        ―  lǎoshǒu  ―  an old hand
        ―  lǎobīng  ―  veteran
    4. to respect (the elderly, one's elders)
    5. (of cooked food) overcooked; tough; stringy; hard
    6. (of food or potable liquids) stale; not fresh
    7. always; all the time
    8. (chiefly dialectal) very; quite
    9. (endearing, respectful) Used before surnames to refer to heads or elder members of families.
      (xiǎo) (for younger people)
    10. (usually respectful and endearing) Used by analogy in several other relationship terms.
      • /   ―  lǎoshī  ―  teacher
      •   ―  lǎo  ―  wifey
      •   ―  lǎogōng  ―  hubby
    11. (obsolete, originally honorific) Prefix for animals or people considered senior, fierce, and often awe-inspiring.
      • /   ―  lǎoyīng  ―  eagle
      •   ―  lǎo  ―  tiger
      •   ―  lǎoshǔ  ―  mouse, rat; (obsolete) bat
      •   ―  lǎoláng  ―  (rare) elder and experienced wolf
      • /   ―  lǎomāo  ―  (rare) elder (potentially annoying) cat
      • 狐狸  ―  lǎohúlí  ―  (surviving usage) elder, cunning and experienced fox
      • 傢夥 / 家伙  ―  lǎojiāhuǒ  ―  (please add an English translation of this example)
      • 東西 / 东西  ―  lǎodōngxī  ―  (please add an English translation of this example)
      • 雜碎 / 杂碎  ―  lǎozásuì  ―  (please add an English translation of this example)
    12. (colloquial) Used before nouns, especially names of ethnicities, places and countries, to form nouns.
      •   ―  lǎowài  ―  foreigner; (pejorative) layman, one who lacks knowledge of a subject
      •   ―  lǎoměi  ―  Yank
      •   ―  lǎobiǎo  ―  a friend (direct speech, may be intimate or offensive depending on provinces)
      • 毛子  ―  lǎomáozi  ―  (pejorative) Russian person
      • 蒙古  ―  lǎoménggǔ  ―  (pejorative) Mongols
      • 北京  ―  lǎoběijīng  ―  indigenous Beijing person
      • 山東 / 山东  ―  lǎoshāndōng  ―  indigenous Shandong person
      • 西兒 / 西儿  ―  lǎoxīr  ―  (affectionate) Shanxi person
      • 回回  ―  lǎohuíhuí  ―  Hui person (affectionate in some cases, pejorative in other cases, never neutral, depend on the region, speaker, listener situation and speaking mood)
    13. (Mainland China, Hong Kong) Short for 老撾老挝 (Lǎowō, “Laos”).

    Synonyms[edit]

    • (old):
    edit
    • (very):

    Compounds[edit]

    Descendants[edit]

    Sino-Xenic ():
    • Korean: / (, ro/no)
    • Vietnamese: lão ()

    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]

    (eumhun 늙을 (neulgeul ro))

    1. Hanja form? of (to be old).

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    : Hán Việt readings: lão[1][2][3]
    : Nôm readings: lảo[1][3][4], lảu[1][3][4], lão[1][2], lẽo[1][3], láu[3][4], rảu[3][4], láo[1], lạo[1], não[1], rau[1], sáu[1], lểu[2], lếu[3], lẩu[3]

    1. Hán tự form of lão (old; aged).

    References[edit]