The structure of the Chinese word "De" for Teh has "chi" on the left which means a cross road, and "de" on the right which can be further divided into "zhi" which means straight on top and "xin" [heart] on the bottom. Therefore, Teh refers to choosing the path with a straight heart, which implies choosing or following the Way (Tao).
And from this is deduced threefold meanings of Teh:
1) In ancient Chinese, Teh is equivalent to "De" which means gain. In "Guan Yinzi", it was said: "Tao finally cannot be gained. That can be gained is named Teh and not Tao." . So in this context, Teh means gaining of Tao;
2) Virtue, or virtuous action and behaviour, which is a direct consequence of gaining Tao;
3) Merit, which is the fruit of virtuous action and behaviour.
As I can not find a single English word with all these meanings, I am obliged to translate Teh into different English words in different places of my translation.
See also glossary on "Tao".Close