- KangXi: page 1204, character 1
- Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 36656
- Dae Jaweon: page 1665, character 2
- Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 6, page 3622, character 1
- Unihan data for U+8C9D
|Historical forms of the character 貝
|Oracle bone script||Bronze inscriptions||Large seal script||Small seal script|
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 (pey, “obsolete small coin”).
Alternatively, Starostin, Matisoff (2003) and Schuessler (2007) relate 貝 to Proto-Sino-Tibetan *bwap (“snail”), via 貝 () < *pāps. If so it would be cognate with *paːdsJingpho pawp, lapawp (“snail”).
- Cantonese (Jyutping): bui3
- Hakka (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ): pi
- Min Nan
- Wu (Wiktionary): pe (T2)
- Min Nan
- Goon: はい (hai) (non-Jōyō reading)
- Kan’on: はい (hai) (non-Jōyō reading)
- Kan’yōon: ばい (bai) (non-Jōyō reading)
- Kun: かい (kai)
- ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3
- ^ 1974, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Second Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō
- Sound (hangeul): 패 (revised: pae, McCune-Reischauer: p'ae, Yale: phay)
- Name (hangeul): 조개 (revised: jogae)
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