The book Fangyan by Yang Xiang says:


roughly: Northern Yan and Korea call “brooding hens” bao

I know some Chinese dialects still use this term today.

How about Korean? Does the term 抱 still show up in any Korean languages when referring to brooding hens?

  • 북연 조선 열수 지간 위복 난왈포 is the Korean for that phrase. it appears to have to do with two countries, Josun (archaic Korea) and North Yun (probably Mongolia) that had a river (열수) that divided them but they constantly were fighting. there appears to be no modern, known phrase for this in learned, Korean elder circles. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 19:24
  • According to this map: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sixteen_Kingdoms_416_AD.jpg it would go to stand that Northern Yan occupied part of modern day Liaoning - Perhaps Joseon had areas up to modern day dalian and shenyang? Where the Bohai sea cuts through some of the middle.
    – Mou某
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


It might be a stretch to say that Korean would have a term for hens that shares origins with .

  1. 北燕朝鮮洌水之間 talks about a region roughly corresponding to modern day Liaodong, conquered from Gojeoson by the State of Yan. This war happened around 400 years before Fangyan was written. This means that the people living there would have about 400 years to change to a Sinitic language, if they even spoke an early form of Korean at all.

  2. (to carry something by the arms), and the original Chinese meaning for brooding hens (), both have Sino-Tibetan etymologies, i.e. they come from a geographical region at around what is now southwestern China. A dialectical word for brooding hens should originate from Northeastern China.

  3. The modern word for chicken in Korean is , which does not resemble 抱 in meaning or sound. If we treat 抱 as a phonetic loan for something that originally meant brooding hens, we should look for it in a language that was spoken near Liaodong, and Tungustic languages would be more suitable.

  4. The global lexicostatistical database proposes a Proto-Altaic root *p`i̯ani for the meaning chicken, with a Manchu descendant f́oxa (chicken) and Korean descendant 병아리 (chick/baby chicken). If you really want to connect 抱 (for specifically the meaning of brooding hens) and 병아리, we could say that they may both be derived from a language spoken around the Liaodong peninsula which had a word for chicken that is also ancestral to Manchu f́oxa, which has an initial that phonetically matches 抱. This interpretation is probably grasping at straws and is most likely untrue.

  5. You will probably get a better answer at Linguistics StackExchange.

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