What is the meaning of 忚 and how is it pronounced?

I have the complete Confucius 論語 -- Is the character used in it (論語)?

(How old is this dictionary?) http://www.kangxizidian.com/kangxi/0377.gif

Also, (optionally) could you comment on if the following argument is commonly expressed by Chinese people, e.g., by teen-agers ? (It seems like something that teen-agers might say.) Thank you.

The following is a logical argument.


Chinese has had 他 (Mandarin) = [he; him; she; her] (originally gender-neutral; nowadays usually referring to males)

because (nowadays for females) 她 is used for she/her.

祂 is used for He (deity).

牠 is used for it (animal).

Now, therefore, the only (or most) logical meaning of 忚 is [he/she/it] for children and babies. Q.E.D.

  • interesting enough, I had to right click, google search that word because I have never seen it before. chardb.iis.sinica.edu.tw/char/U+5FDA says it's pronounced ㄒㄧ / xi. However, it seems to have no resemblance to 他/她/它/牠/祂. Perhaps other users can comment on this. Oct 1 '16 at 7:22
  • Two other sources say it is "xi"
    – 伟思礼
    Oct 1 '16 at 15:59

忚 (u+5fda) is rarely used in the past, it did appear in several books.

the latest one, with english explanation, was in early 18th century, in robert morrison's "a dictionary of the chinese language", volume ii, part i (page 139 of pdf file):

㦒(u+3992)忚: insultingly neglectful


enter image description here

then, its' earliest appearance in literatures of yore, was in 輶軒使者絕代語釋別國方言 卷十, by 揚雄, of 漢 dynasty (page 79 of pdf file):


"欺謾" is roughly deceive, disrespectful


enter image description here

its' next appearance was in 廣韻 上平聲 卷第一﹒齊韻第十二 (page 31):

 欺謾之皃 (貌)


enter image description here

back to your question, i don't think that this character was used in 論語.

康熙字典 was published in 1716; so it's about 300 years old :)

about the argument:

Now, therefore, the only (or most) logical meaning
of 忚 is [he/she/it] for children and babies.

well, it's not. i would say that

他 he 也﹒從人﹒也聲
她 she 也﹒從女﹒也聲 
祂 god 也﹒從示﹒也聲 
牠 it 也﹒從牛﹒也聲 

so, these four are 形聲字.

lastly, i think that most 小學類 字書 had the character "忚", and, explained it; though in literary chinese, and printed in traditional script.

  • Are they the same radical? Both have stroke one vertical with stroke two a speck next to it. But in the answer, I see stroke three horizontal against stroke one and horizontal crossing stroke one. Also, one of the images romanizes the one with 3 crossing as "he" while three modern sources say that 忚 is "xi."
    – 伟思礼
    Oct 1 '16 at 16:06
  • the first image is from morrison's dictionary, the top right stated 61th radical 心. the pronunciation "he" is based on cantonese. based on the 字書 i read, 忚 has 3 different pronunciations, i can grep the 反切 from cantonese with confidence; about how it pronounces in other dialects, it's beyond my knowledge :( Oct 1 '16 at 16:38
  • That 輶軒使者絕代語釋別國方言 is quite a find!
    – Michaelyus
    Oct 10 '16 at 11:36

I copied and pasted it into zdic, which has it as xi1 and lie3


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.