Glyph origin Edit
*qʰʷaːds, *qʷrad, *qʷad
*qʰʷaːds, *qʷaːds, *qʷads, *qʰʷaːd
Phono-semantic compound ( , 形聲 ): semantic OC *sqʰʷads, *sqʰʷad + phonetic 步 戉 ( OC *ɢʷad ). In addition to , various components such as 戉 (“moon; month”) used to be present, sometimes as simple as two dots. The current form derives from the 月 Qin-style handwriting of the late Warring States (with a full-width on the top and a bottom-left 止 stroke extending outward as in 撇 or 戊 instead of bending inward as in 戌 ), which was also inherited by the 戉 clerical script.
A derivative of
( 越 , “to pass over”) ( OC *ɢʷad Mei, 1979, 1992). Ultimately probably from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *grwat ( “ to travel; to go through ” ); compare Tibetan སྐྱོད ( skyod, “ to go ” ) ( Mei, 1979, 1992; Gong, 2002; STEDT).
The functions of the
*s- prefix and the *-s suffix are not clear. Possible explanations include:
Alternatively, it may be derived from a word like
( 圓 , “round; circle”) (< OC *ɢon Proto-Sino-Tibetan *wal ( “ round; circular ” )), literally "to start the circle/cycle again" ( Schuessler, 2007).
Outside of Sino-Tibetan, this word has been compared to
Thai ขวบ ( kùuap, “ year ” ), which Bodman (1980) considers to be a loan from Chinese, as well as Proto-Austronesian *kawaS ( “ year; season; sky ” ) ( Sagart, 2005).
Schuessler (2007) and Smith (2012) for a discussion on the semantic development of this word, especially the connection between "Jupiter" and "year".
( literary ) Jupiter ( planet )
Tai Sui, the god representing each of these years
( literary ) age
( literary ) time; period
( literary ) crop harvests of the year
Classifier for time: year Classifier for age (of a person or animal): year old
/ 你 現在 幾 歲？ ― 你 现在 几 岁？ ― How old are you now? Nǐ xiànzài jǐ suì?
/ 我 十八 歲。 ― 我 十八 岁。 ― I am 18 Wǒ shíbā suì. years old. / 一個 十 歲 的 女孩 ― 一个 十 岁 的 女孩 ― a ten- yīge shí suì de nǚhái year-old girl
Usage notes Edit
歲 are traditionally reckoned using the Chinese lunar calendar, considered as 1 year old at the moment of birth and increasing not during birthdays, but at the Chinese New Year.
( 年 , “year < harvest”) nián
／ 年紀 ( 年纪 ) niánjì ／ 年齡 ( 年龄 ) niánlíng
→ ? Thai: ขวบ ( kùuap, “ year ” ) → Vietnamese: tuổi ( , 歲 “ age; year ” )