Pictogram (象形) – in the form of a pestle (杵 (chǔ)).
Norman (1985) proposed connection with Austroasiatic; Ferlus (2013) noted a "[g]ood correspondence" between Proto-Vietic *m-ŋəːʔ (whence Vietnamese ngựa) and Old Chinese reconstructions like *m-qʰˁaʔ (Baxter-Sagart) and *ᵀs.ŋaʔ (Ferlus).
Alternatively, Smith (2011) proposed 午 (OC ŋaaʔ)'s cognacy with 啎 (OC *ŋaas) "to meet head on" and 御 (OC *ŋraas) "to meet in (battle)" and suggested that "the moon at its full phase opposes the sun directly in the sky, meaning *ŋaaʔ 午 is probably to be glossed, given *-ʔ , ‘facing stage’". Schuessler (2007) regarded 午 (OC ŋâh) "to go against" as a mere graphic variant of 啎 and thus deemed the sense "to go against" distinct from the "earthly branch" sense.
- the seventh of twelve earthly branches:
- (historical or astrology) the seventh year of the Jovian orbital cycle
- (archaic) the fifth month of the Chinese traditional calendar
- (historical or archaic) the "Chinese" or "double hour" from 11 am to 1 pm
- noon (precisely)
- (earthly branches) 地支; 子, 丑, 寅, 卯, 辰, 巳, 午, 未, 申, 酉, 戌, 亥
- (as an earthly branch): 地支 (dìzhī)
- (as precisely noon): 小時／小时 (xiǎoshí), 時候／时候 (shíhou)
|For pronunciation and definitions of 午 – see 舞 (“dance; dancing; etc.”).|
(This character, 午, is the second-round simplified form of 舞.)
午: Hán Nôm readings: ngọ, ngỏ, ngõ
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