When handwriting the Chinese

it might be mistakenly written as

Afterwards, it has an additional "phantom" stroke which only exists because it's written incorrectly. There's a number of "phantom" strokes when handwriting, e.g. the characters associated with:

  • miswriting 冖 as 宀,
  • miswriting 厂 as 广,
  • miswriting 斤 as 斥,
  • miswriting 礻 as 衤, and
  • miswriting 戈 as 戋.

I'm wondering if there is a name for this "phantom" stroke, either in English or Chinese, and either in linguistics or in informal usage.

Question: Is there a name for a "phantom" stroke handwritten by mistake?

  • 2
    ”it's probably quite common to mistakenly write it“: I doubt it. Any source?
    – fefe
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:41
  • This seems unlikely to be a common mistake, though I suppose it might happen once in a long while. Still, I can't really imagine myself making this mistake (and I make plenty).
    – Brian Tung
    Jul 8, 2020 at 0:29
  • 2
    Not really relevant but should-be-noted knowledge: when it comes to calligraphy, it's usual to add or remove some stroke (called 增笔/减笔) for aesthetic purposes. This Zhihu post offers a good explanation.
    – Stan
    Jul 8, 2020 at 2:02
  • It seems 错别字 is related.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Aug 21, 2020 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


It is called or 笔误 or 误笔 (handwriting mistake) or more colloquially "写错笔划" (write a wrong stroke)


俗语: "误将冯京作马凉" 就是典型的笔误引来的误会

Although 笔误 and 误笔 are interchangeable, there's also a term 口误 (slip of the tongue). Therefore, I prefer 笔误 over 误笔


Seems there's no specified name for this "phantom-mistake".

and these Charactors have the name: 易错字.

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