When talking about colours both 乌 and 黑 seem to mean "black", what is the difference between them?
ex. there is 乌龙茶 but there is also 黑龙江, both 乌龙 and 黑龙 mean "black dragon".
乌 was a pictograph of a crow (烏鴉) . Since crow is black, the character 乌 was sometimes used as an adjective for 'dark' , 'black', or a verb for 'to blacken' in classical text.
黑 was a pictograph that depicted 'object being burned by fire' . It was used to represent the color 'black'. This meaning remain unchanged today.
In modern Chinese, 黑 is the primary word for 'black'(noun or adjective); 乌 is used for 'black' or 'dark' only in some set phrases , idioms and names
烏煙瘴氣- black smoke and miasma
烏雲 - dark cloud
烏衣 - classical version of 黑衣 (black clothes)
- 1.（乌鸦） crow; raven; rook
- 2.（姓氏） a surname: Wu Chengpin 乌承批.
- adj（黑色） black; dark: black eye; 乌眼青 dark hair 乌黑的头发
- pronoun （何; 哪里） how; what's: How can such a thing be? 乌有此事? What's there worth mentioning about it? 乌足道哉?
- 1.（像煤或墨的颜色） black: black hair 黑发
- 2.（黑暗） dark: It's dark. 天黑了。
- 3.（秘密; 不公开） secret; shady: shady deal; 黑交易 a clandestine meeting 黑会
- 4.（坏; 狠毒） wicked; sinister: blackhearted and cruel 心黑手辣
- 5.（象征反动）reactionary: reactionary gang 黑帮
- 1.（夜晚） night: from morning till night 从早到黑
- 2. （黑龙江省的简称） short for Heilongjiang Province
- 3. （姓氏） a surname: Hei Yunlong 黑云龙