Ideogrammic compound (會意): 大 (“man”) + 一 (“hairpin”) – a man with a hairpin in his hair.
In ancient times, when men reached the age of 20, they bound their hair with a hairpin during the Guan Li ceremony. The hairpin is the sign of “a grownup man”.
From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *p/ba (“male, father, third-person pronoun”). Cognate with Tibetan པ (pa, “masculine noun suffix”), Burmese ဖ (hpa., “masculine noun suffix”). Possibly related to 父 (OC *paʔ, *baʔ, “father”).
- male adult; man
- 丈夫 ― zhàngfū ― husband
- 夫婦 / 夫妇 ― fūfù ― married couple
- manual worker
- 農夫 / 农夫 ― nóngfū ― peasant
- 漁夫 / 渔夫 ― yúfū ― fisherman
“That”. Schuessler (2007) connects this with Proto-Loloish *m-ba (“on the other side”), Tibetan ཕ (pha, “beyond, farther on, onward”). Maybe related to 彼 (OC *pralʔ, “that”).
- † A generic personal pronoun – he; she; it; they.
- † A generic demonstrative pronoun – this; that; these; those.
- † Sentence-initial particle which introduces a topic.
- 夫將者，國之輔也。 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
- 夫将者，国之辅也。 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
- From: The Art of War, circa 5th century BCE
- Fú jiàng zhě, guó zhī fǔ yě. [Pinyin]
- The general is the country's defense.
- † Sentence-final particle, meaning “Is it not?”.
- † Meaningless particle in the middle of a sentence.