麒麟

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Chinese[edit]

male unicorn female unicorn
simp. and trad.
(麒麟)
alt. forms 騏驎 obsolete
麒麐 obsolete
Wikipedia has an article on:
麒麟

Etymology[edit]

Qilin was a propitious beast in ancient Chinese mythology, with the shape of a deer, tail of an ox, a single horn and scales all over its body. Old Chinese pronunciation for this word was *g(ɯ)-rin (Zhengzhang), and in pre-Qin times the beast was also referred to as

  • (OC *rin),
  • (OC *m·rin, *m·rins),
  • 𪊓, or
  • (OC *peds),

the last two having been attested in the oracle bone script already. This is much debate as to what animal the qilin beast was; some maintain that the qilin was a beast only found in mythology, even though it may have been based on some animal in pre-historic times, and some argue that the qilin was in reality the river deer, the ox or cow, or the Indian rhinoceros (Wang, 2009).

During the SongMing Dynasties, the giraffe was introduced to China, either by envoys from other Asian or African countries, or through Zheng He who commanded multiple expeditionary voyages to Asia and Africa (Zhang, 2007). Besides using the transcription 祖剌法 (zǔlàfǎ) (from Arabic زُرَافَة(zurāfa, giraffe)) to name the animal, the Chinese also referred to it as qilin, believing it was the prototype of the mythological beast qilin. Such association may be due to the phonological similarity of the words for “giraffe” in North African languages, to the pronunciation of 麒麟 (MC ɡɨ liɪn) at the time (Zhang, 2007). Compare:

Somali geri(giraffe), Sango kôlo, Amharic ቀጭኔ(ḳäč̣ne), Kazakh керік(kerik) and Arabic زَرَافَة(zarāfa), زُرَافَة(zurāfa) (whence English giraffe).

The “giraffe” sense of 麒麟 is obsolete in modern Chinese, but is preserved in the Sinoxenic loanwords in Japanese ( () (りん)(kirin)) and Korean (기린). In modern Vietnamese (kì lân), this word refers to the beast qilin, as well as the western mythological beast unicorn.

Pronunciation[edit]



Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1 1/1
Initial () (30) (37)
Final () (19) (43)
Tone (調) Level (Ø) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open Open
Division () III III
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/ɡɨ/ /liɪn/
Pan
Wuyun
/ɡɨ/ /lin/
Shao
Rongfen
/ɡie/ /ljen/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/gɨ/ /lin/
Li
Rong
/ɡiə/ /liĕn/
Wang
Li
/ɡĭə/ /lĭĕn/
Bernard
Karlgren
/gi/ /li̯ĕn/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
lín
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1 1/1
No. 9956 8201
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
0 1
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*ɡɯ/ /*rin/

Noun[edit]

麒麟

  1. (Chinese mythology) qilin (propitious mythological beast)   (Classifier: )
  2. (figuratively, literary) outstanding person; man of ability
  3. (obsolete) giraffe (ruminant of the genus Giraffa)

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Sino-Xenic (麒麟):

Japanese[edit]

Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja
麒麟 (kirin): the statue of a qilin, also known as the Chinese unicorn.
Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja
麒麟 (kirin): a giraffe.
Kanji in this term

Jinmeiyō
りん
Jinmeiyō
on'yomi

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Chinese 麒麟(*ghiə lin)

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

麒麟 ‎(hiragana きりん, katakana キリン, romaji kirin)

  1. (Chinese mythology) a qilin
    • 2010 May 23, Gosho Aoyama, “せいりゅう [Azure Dragon]”, in 名探偵コナン [Legendary Detective Conan], volume 68 (fiction, in Japanese), Tokyo: Shogakukan, ISBN 978-4-09-122290-9:
      それはどうぶつのキリン!もんだいりんは…ぜんしんいろうろこおおわれていて、姿すがた鹿しかうしうまひづめち、りゅうあたまから1ぽんつのえてる…ちゅうごくでんせつじょうしんじゅうだよ!
      Sore wa dōbutsu no kirin! Mondai no kirin wa… Zenshin ga kiiroi uroko de ōwareteite, sugata wa shika, ushi no o to uma no hizume o mochi, ryū ni nita atama kara ippon tsuno ga haeteru… Chūgoku no densetsu jō no shinjū da yo!
      That's giraffekirin the animal! The qilinkirin we're talking about… has a deer-like body covered in golden scales, with a cow's tail and a horse's hooves, and with a single horn growing from its dragon-ish head… It's a mythical beast from Chinese legends!
  2. (shogi) the kirin, a piece in chūshōgi and larger shogi variants
  3. a giraffe (mammal)

Usage notes[edit]

As with many terms that name organisms, this term is often spelled in katakana in biological contexts, as キリン.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

麒麟 ‎(hiragana きりん, katakana キリン, romaji Kirin)

  1. a brand of beer

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  2. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3

Korean[edit]

Hanja in this term

Noun[edit]

麒麟 ‎(girin, McCune-Reischauer: kirin, Yale: kilin) ‎(hangeul 기린)

  1. Hanja form? of 기린, “giraffe; qilin”.

Vietnamese[edit]

Hán tự in this word

Han character[edit]

麒麟 (kì lân)

  1. Hán tự form of kì lân, “qilin