Kyril Ryjik’s ” L’idiot chinois ” was for a long time one of the rare works available in French on the etymology of characters. I hadn’t opened it for ages. The Youfeng bookstore had the good idea to publish a rewrite of the manual with many additions, in several volumes. The adventure stopped at the second volume with the disappearance of the author. Book in hand, I plunged into volume 1 with delight.
My attention stopped on the character 套 tào (page 12) which means case and its composition. It includes 大 dà, large, and 镸 cháng, long (as a cháng radical is written as 镸 and not 长). How can we explain that these two words give case? The author writes that appears under the Tang dynasty (618-907) “a new word, 套 tào, meaning a case, very precisely of this species which has the exact shape of the precious objects (weapons, jades, porcelain, books) that it must protect”.
It is clear! We can no longer forget the writing of 套.
套 tào also means cover, copy, series and collection.
Articles on characters classified by theme :
1rst of September 2020