Chinese Tuesdays: 房东


I have always wondered why the word for landlord (房东 fáng dōng) has the character for East (东) in it, making it look like “room East”, along with similar words like to host (做东 zuò dong) or shareholder (股东 gǔ dōng).

It turns out that in ancient times the host would stand to the East and the guest to the West, leading to the host being called East.

Every Tuesday on the Anthill, Sam Duncan posts a langauge titbit from his blog. Read them all here