Pictogram (象形) – cowry.
Cowries were used as money in ancient China (Shell money). Guo (1945) proposes that cowries used by the ancient Chinese dynasties in Central China must have come from the southeastern shores of China and areas further south, as the species of sea snail used as decoration and currency—Monetaria moneta (money cowry)—is not native to the eastern seashores of China. He further proposes that in addition to the cowry itself, the word for cowry, 貝, is also an ancient loanword from languages of the south (which call it “bia”).
Compare Malay bia (“cowry”), Thai เบี้ย (bîia, “cowry shell; money”), Proto-Mon-Khmer *ɓa(a)j (“bean, small weight or coin”) > Khasi sbâi, 'bâi (“money, cowry, shell”), Khmer ពៃ (pɨy, “obsolete small coin”).
Alternatively, Starostin, Matisoff (2003) and Schuessler (2007) relate 貝 to Proto-Sino-Tibetan *bwap (“snail”), via 貝 (OC *paːds) < *pāps. If so it would be cognate with Jingpho pawp, lapawp (“snail”).
- shellfish; cowrie
- † money; currency
- A surname.
(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)
/*kapi1/ invalid IPA characters (1) → /kaɸi/ → /kawi/ → /kai/
From Old Japanese. Found in the Man'yōshū, completed some time after 759 CE.
貝 (hiragana かい, rōmaji kai, historical hiragana かひ)
- a shellfish
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
- ^ c. 759, Man'yōshū (book 15, poem 3709), text here
- ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
- ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
- ^ 1974, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Second Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō
貝 • (pae)
- Sound (hangeul): 패 (revised: pae, McCune-Reischauer: p'ae, Yale: phay)
- Name (hangeul): 조개 (revised: jogae)
- This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text