Origin of syceeCantonese ; from Mandarin hsi ss?, fine silk: so called because it may, when heated, be spun into fine threads
Origin of syceeCantonese sai3 si1, fine silver (literally, fine silk, so called because the pure silver can be spun into fine threads); akin to Mandarin xís&imacron;, fine silver : Mandarin xí, thin, fine (from Middle Chinese siaj`) + Mandarin s&imacron;, silk, thread (from Middle Chinese s&zsyll;).
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
Said to be from a Chinese word for fine silk, because if pure the silver may be drawn out into fine threads.