蘆薈

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See also: 芦荟

Chinese[edit]

rush; reed; Phragmites communis flourish
trad. (蘆薈)
simp. (芦荟)
alternative forms
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Etymology[edit]

Unknown. The word lu-hui was possibly borrowed from some language in Arabia, but its exact source remains enigmatic. Compare Classical Syriac ܥܰܠܘܰܝ(ʿalway), Arabic أَلْوَة(ʾalwa), Persian الوا(alwā, ilwā), Ge'ez ዐልዋ (ʿälwa), ዓልው (ʿalw), ዓልዋ (ʿalwa), አለው (ʾäläw), አልው (ʾälw), all meaning “aloe”.

First attested in 《藥性論》 by Zhen Quan (甄權) of the Tang dynasty as 盧會. A number of variant forms existed for this term, suggesting a borrowed nature. Li Xun (李珣) of the 10th century stated that:

蘆薈波斯國飴糖),樹脂 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
芦荟波斯国饴糖),树脂 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: 10th century, Li Xun (李珣), 《海藥本草》 ([Over]seas Pharmacopoeia)
Lúhuì shēng Bōsīguó, zhuàng sì hēitáng (yítáng), nǎi shùzhī yě. [Pinyin]
Lu-hui grows in the country Po-si [i.e. Persia], has the appearance of black confectionery, and is the sap of a tree.

This is in reference to a blackish-brown, inspissated form of aloe, obtained by boiling its sap down to a mass. This form of aloe was popular in much of Eurasia in antiquity, and was of medicinal value. The 13th-century book Zhu Fan Zhi describes the plant as:

蘆薈大食奴發土人玉器搗研皮袋蘆薈 [Classical Chinese, trad.][▼ expand/hide]
芦荟大食奴发土人玉器捣研皮袋芦荟 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
From: 13th century, Zhao Rugua (趙汝适), 《諸蕃志》 (A Description of Barbarian Nations)
Lúhuì chū Dàshí Núfāguó, cǎo shǔ yě. Qí zhuàng rú hòu wěi, tǔrén cǎi ér yǐ yùqì dǎoyán zhī, áo ér chéng gāo, zhì zhū pídài zhōng, míng yuē lúhuì. [Pinyin]
Lu-hui comes from the land of Nu-fa of the Ta-shi country [i.e. Arabia]. It is derived from a vegetable product, which looks like the tail of a king-crab. The natives gather it and pound it with implements made of jadestone, after which it is boiled into an ointment and packed in skin bags, and this is called lu-hui.

The land of Nu-fa corresponds to Dhofar in Southern Arabia, a region historically renowned as a centre for Aloe cultivation.

A common folk etymology interpretation of the word is (“black”) + (“to assemble; to concentrate”).

Pronunciation[edit]



Rime
Character
Reading # 2/2 1/1
Initial () (37) (34)
Final () (23) (26)
Tone (調) Level (Ø) Departing (H)
Openness (開合) Open Closed
Division () I I
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/luo/ /ʔuɑiH/
Pan
Wuyun
/luo/ /ʔʷɑiH/
Shao
Rongfen
/lo/ /ʔuɑiH/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/lɔ/ /ʔwajH/
Li
Rong
/lo/ /ʔuɑiH/
Wang
Li
/lu/ /uɑiH/
Bernard
Karlgren
/luo/ /ʔuɑiH/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
wèi

Noun[edit]

蘆薈

  1. aloe (Aloe)

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term

Hyōgaiji
かい
Hyōgaiji
on’yomi

Etymology[edit]

/roe//rokwai//rokai/

Originally borrowed from Latin aloe.

During the Edo period, this plant was known in Japan as roe, as an abbreviation of the Latin-derived genus name Aloe.

The kanji spelling is ateji (当て字), based on the borrowed reading of e for (official on'yomi of wai and kai, historical kwai), based on the goon reading of e for separate character , the lower portion of the character (and the traditional form of modern ). Over time, the irregular e reading reverted to the then-official kwai reading, which then shifted to produce modern rokai.[1][2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

蘆薈 (hiragana ろかい, rōmaji rokai, historical hiragana ろくわい)

  1. (botany) aloe (plant of the genus Aloe)

Usage notes[edit]

This term has been mostly superseded in modern Japanese by the re-borrowed term アロエ (aroe).

Descendants[edit]

  • Okinawan: 蘆薈 (rugwai, dugwai)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN

Okinawan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably borrowed from Japanese 蘆薈 (rokai). See that entry for more details.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɾuɡʷai/, /duɡʷai/

Noun[edit]

蘆薈 (hiragana るぐゎい, rōmaji rugwai, alternative reading どぅぐゎい, rōmaji dugwai)

  1. (botany) aloe (plant of the genus Aloe)