A simple question, why does the lower half of 安全 (safe), have the female character: 女 ?

Is it implying that safety pertains only to females being secure? Or is there no such implication?

I'd like to know why 女 was chosen

  • Baidu answer.If you can read Chinese: 宀mián是家室的意思,甲骨文字体“女”是呈跪坐姿态,字义为女子能够安坐家中,是因为外无祸患,内无争端。
    – dan
    Aug 19, 2017 at 5:19
  • @dan sorry. I can't read Chinese that well would you mind translating ?
    – udidosa
    Aug 19, 2017 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


Splitting the character 安, we get 宀 + 女.

In oracle bone script, 宀 stands for house, and 女 means bride. The whole caracter means "bride in new house" (i.e. marriage).

In traditional Chinese culture, marrying a girl is a huge settlement in a man's life, so 安 means 安定 (settled), 安心 (relieved).

Reference is in full Chinese (so it's a bit hard for learners to read).


The comment by @dan is correct -「安」depicts a kneeling girl/woman in a building, indicating the meaning sitting peacefully > peace, quiet. It does not mean bride in new house.

Please don't use Vividict as a resource. It contains decidedly non-mainstream interpretations.

「安」was originally composed of「宀」(building),「女」(picture of a kneeling girl/woman), and an extra mark located around the area between the woman's heels and buttocks, emphasising that the woman is in a kneeling/sitting position.

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Red line in the first form points to the small mark, which later became exaggerated.

The mark started being omitted in the Warring States period and completely disappeared after the Western Han.

Shapes that look like「安」before the Warring States without the mark may be considered to be a variant of「賓」instead.


  • 季旭昇《說文新證》
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  • 國學大師

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