语言学 好酷! Etymology of Cool! 中英文的交流

By Xah Lee. Date:

= cool!

chinese character ku4 cool

The char 酷 is quite interesting. It's pronounced kù, the same as the English word “cool”. It has acquired the English meaning of “cool” online. Though, the original Chinese meaning, “cruel, extremely, very, strong wine”, barely matches.

Note that the English “cool”, is also a slang.

etymology: cool (adj.)

Old English col “not warm” (but usually not as severe as cold), also, of persons, “unperturbed, undemonstrative,” from Proto-Germanic *koluz (cognates: Middle Dutch coel, Dutch koel, Old High German kuoli, German kühl “cool,” Old Norse kala “be cold”), from PIE root *gel- “cold, to freeze” (see cold (adj.)).

Applied since 1728 to large sums of money to give emphasis to amount. Meaning “calmly audacious” is from 1825. Slang use for “fashionable” is 1933, originally Black English; modern use as a general term of approval is from late 1940s, probably from bop talk and originally in reference to a style of jazz; said to have been popularized in jazz circles by tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Related: Coolly.

cool

here's detailed chinese meaning.

(1) (形声。从酉( yǒu),表示与酒有关,告声。本义:酒味浓;香气浓)

(2) 同本义 [strong]

[酒]酷烈馨香。——曹植《七启》

芬芳沤郁,酷烈淑郁。——司马相如《上林赋》

(3) 残暴;苛刻 [cruel]

课额日以增,官吏日以酷。——王冕《伤亭户》

刑罚暴酷,轻绝人命。——晁错《举贤良对策》

妃性酷虐,常手镣数人。——《晋书·贾皇后传》

(4) 又如:酷滥(滥用残酷的刑罚);酷评(苛刻的评论);酷惨(残暴,惨酷);酷偿(残酷报复);酷能(以严刑酷法为能);酷吏(滥用刑法残害人民的官吏)

(5) 悲惨;痛苦 [miserable;painful]

吴人仿 子胥之冤酷,皆为立祠。——《三国志》

(6) 又如:酷杀(惨死);酷裂(因痛苦而肠断);酷楚(痛楚)

词性变化

◎ 酷 kù

〈副〉

(1) 极,非常 [severely;very]

酷似其舅。——《晋书·何无忌传》

(2) 又如:酷尚(特别喜好);酷类(即酷似,非常相似);酷痛(极悲痛);酷贫(极其贫困);酷薄(极端刻薄)

◎ 酷 kù

〈名〉

(1) 灾难;困苦 [catastrophe;hardship]。如:酷祸(惨祸)

(2) 惨痛,痛恨 [hate bitterly]

含酷茹恨,彻于心髓。——《颜氏家训·文章》

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