See also: 马路
|horse; surname||road; path; way|
Attested in Zuo Zhuan [4th century BC], meaning “wide road used for horses”. How this came to be used as a general term for “paved road; street” is debated. Common theories include:
- A natural semantic evolution (± modern repurposing) of the literary Chinese term.
- A phono-semantic matching of English macadam (the modern method of road construction) + 路 (“road”), originally used in Shanghainese.
- (literary, archaic) wide road used for horses and horse-drawn carriages
- (modern usage) wide and flat road for the passage of vehicles; paved road; (by extension) road; street (Classifier: 條／条 )