It is well known that there are many Chinese loan word in Korean words. In this paper, the Korean word “시금치”, was chosen to be the subject, from the perspective of lexicology, this word’s source language and evolution process in both Korea and China were analyzed.
Firstly, on the premise that Chinese word “赤根菜” is the source language of “시금치”, the paper analyzed the forming process of the word “菠菜”，a Chinese word for “시금치”. Secondly, by examining Chinese historical dacument and literature, this paper explored the words “菠菜” and “赤根菜” diachronically and synchronically. Finally, based on Korea’s historical dacument, the paper confirmed the truth that “赤根菜” is the source language of “시금치”. At the same time, it also analyzed the evolution process of the word “赤根菜” since it was turned into Korean.
According to historical dacument, the paper found that the word Spinach was first introduced to China in 647 AD, and it was transliterated as “波棱” at first. “波棱” and its variant forms have been frequently found in the Song literature, and it was in the Song and Yuan Dynasty when abbreviated “菠菜” began to appear frequently in literature. Since Ming Dynasty, both “菠菜” and “波棱” were considered as common word, but it is the “菠菜” that has been in mainstream until today.
The word “赤根菜” was first found in the Yuan literature. In fact, before the Ming , the words “菠菜” and “赤根菜” can both be found in literature. At first, the “赤根菜” was used as the alias for “菠菜”, but people find it difficult to find out the reason for its formation, actually it was indeed drawn from the northern spoken language, a very popular folk spoken word in the north region. After the word “赤根菜” was introduced and koreanized in Korean, the phonation saw a step change, making it really difficult to convince the fact that it is a loan word. Therefore, it compared once the each morpheme’s Chinese ancient phonation and at that time the Korean phonation. This paper also explored the evolution process of the phonation of “赤根菜” after it was borrowed into Korean.