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Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Hyperpolyglot, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    I think it means clerk or cashier or the like, but when I google translated it it means shopkeeper, why add 的 at the end?
    Why is it when you refer to 掌櫃, it has the possessive 的, like the English form of 's, is 掌櫃 the only profession where when you call him/her you have to add 的 at the end?
  2. singaporejax New Member

    in chinese custom , always add 的 when chinese call the shopkeeper , you can ignore the 的
  3. SuperXW Senior Member

    In this word, 掌=執掌=control; 櫃=錢櫃=cash-box, till.
    掌櫃 = 掌櫃的 = 掌櫃的人 = (the one who) control the cash-box = the shopkeeper
    We usually omit 人 after 的. Sometimes we omit 的 too.

    Traditionally, you can call a person by what he does:
    The common form: [verb] + [noun] + 的.
    劃船的 = the one who row the boat = boatman
    跑堂的 = the one who rush in the hall = waiter in a restaurant
    打鼓的 = the one who beat the drum = drummer
    放火的 = the one who set the fire = arsonist
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  4. singaporejax New Member

    楼上回答了那么多 都不累 厉害
  5. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    Yes, it's indeed cashier in modern term but traditionally, 掌櫃的 is also the owner of the eatery/inn. Hence, "shopkeeper" can be taken as a rightful translation.

    The question on why we add a 的 is answered, as such I won't carry on with the whole nine yards. What I wanna say is that it's perfectly okay if 掌櫃的 is used to refer to a 3rd person. Otherwise, it sounds unrefined to use to address anyone right in his/her face. So you have to be mindful when using xx的 and more so in contemporary Chinese.
  6. SuperXW Senior Member

    I think even today, Mainland Chinese don't understand 掌櫃的 as a cashier, but always a shopkeeper.
  7. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    I think 櫃 refers to the safe in a backroom or office (櫃房/账房) where accounting is performed, not the cashier's drawer where a float is kept. 掌櫃 is therefore not a cashier but one in charge of the safe, which is used as a metaphor for the profit (success) or loss (failure) of a business/organization.

    的 is optional: 當家的 (head of household), 當差的 (minor official, footman), 掌灶的 (chef), 跑堂的 (waiter), etc.
    的 is necessary: 要飯的 (beggar), 趕車的 (horse-drawn vehicle driver), 過路的 (passerby), 放囊的 (casino loan shark), etc.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  8. 南门烤串 New Member

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

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