About 61.6 and “翰音”

This is a comment to a post in Hilary’s blog. Her system does not appear to accept Chinese characters so, here’s the complete post:


I looked for the character in Shuessler’s “Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese” and, all context aside, I find interesting that 翰-han, in Zhou times, perhaps all the way to Han times, meant “to support (figuratively).” He then cross-references the word to 幹-gan, “stem, framework, skeleton; posts in a framework.”

I suppose the bird associated meaning should be blamed to the Book of Rites: (1).《礼记·曲礼下》:“凡祭宗庙之礼……羊曰柔毛,鸡曰翰音。”后因以“翰音”为鸡的代称。《文选·张协<七命>》:“封熊之蹯,翰音之跖。” 吕延济 注:“翰音,鸡也。” (http://tinyurl.com/3h29xa6) Perhaps the result of being paired with 音 (a character that does not appear in Schuessler’s–and makes me wonder about it’s ancient use as such–but 喑-an does, literally meaning “words kept in mouth” (silence, muteness, etc.)) and all those feathers influencing the context to create an image of a “chanticleer,” to use Legge’s poetic rendition. Makes me think that the meaning of 翰音 seems to be more like an onomatopoeia, or at least something that evokes the sound of wings being flapped. Just a thought but, perhaps, 翰音登 could carry a meaning of “wings being flapped in crescendo”… (a sound of distress and alarm that ties with Steve’s first comment above)

To obscure things a bit more, current use of 翰 translates to “writing brush; writing; pen” (翰林 meaning “academics” from at least Tang times). Now, the whispering sound of a brush or a quill…

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