Etymology of 环卫?How did “ring guard” become “environmental sanitation”? Would someone please help me understand the etymology of 环卫? 环 - huan2 - jade ring or bracelet 卫 - wei4 - guard 环卫 - environmental sanitation How did this word come about from its individual characters?
Jul 10, 2019 3:28 PM
Answers · 7
Like Donald said, It is short for 环境卫生. Ancient Chinese believe the sky is round like a bracelet and the earth is flat. 环境 literally means "the space of the bracelet" and later extended to mean "the space around us", "situation" and "environment". 卫 = protect/guard 生 = life. The Chinese language is flexible in using old words for new situations. For example, 电 originally means lightning and is now extended to mean "electricity" and so "electric talk" 电話 becomes "telephone". Many computer terms in English also uses this method to express new terms instead of inventing new words; eg, "abort", "bug"
July 10, 2019
the way you are learning Chinese is incorrect there are no deep meanings there they are just words like there's no "poo" in "spoon"
July 10, 2019
July 10, 2019
环境 -- environment 卫生 -- hygiene/sanitation
July 10, 2019
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