|black; dark; Heilongjiang Province (abbrev.)||
dark; gloomy; hidden; secret
|simp. and trad.
Middle Chinese: /hək̚ ʔʌmH/
The 9th-century Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang described 黑暗 (, “lit. black-dark”) as the name for “rhinoceros(-horn)” in the place Po-se ( hək̚ ʔʌmH波斯, “Persia”), in parallel to 白暗 (, “lit. white-dark”), the designation for “ivory”. bˠæk̚ ʔʌmH
Laufer (1914: 145) and Laufer (1967: 473) pointed out that these names cannot be Persian, but are Malayan in origin. Additionally, it is clear that neither the Malayan words for “rhinoceros-horn” and “ivory”, nor the words for “rhinoceros” and “elephant”, are implicated in these etymologies. It appears that these two Chinese words are corruptions of the colour names “black” and “white”, with which the local traders in Malaya at the time distinguished rhinoceros-horn and ivory.
Laufer compared the former with Jarai [Term?] (hötam), Cebuano itom, Malay hitam, Javanese item, Tagalog itim, all meaning “black” (in Austronesian languages), and the latter with: Čam bauṅ, boṅ, or bhuṅ; Senoi biūg, other forms in the Sakei and Semang languages of Malakka biok, biäk, biēg, begiäk, bekuṅ, bekog; Alfur, Boloven, Kon tu, Kaseng, Lave, and Niah bok, Sedeng röboṅ, Stieng bōk (“white”); Bahnar bak (Mon bu), most of which are the Mon-Khmer words for “white” (proto-form *kɓɔɔk and *kbooʔ).
- 白暗 (bái'àn)