I can't read Chinese, but if Google Translate is correct, CUHK blazons 2 etymologies for :

Synopsis : 金文「實」字會屋內充滿貝、玉等寶物之意,本義是富實、富足。

[1.] Elaboration: 西周散氏盤銘文「實」字從「宀」從「周」從「貝」,「周」為「琱」的象形,指琱琢之玉,會屋內充滿貨貝、玉等寶物之意,本義是富實。小篆從「宀」從「貫」,「貫」是古錢幣的單位,用繩子穿起稱為一「貫」,意謂滿屋錢財。本義是殷實、富足。引申為充實。



  1. "Rich People More Likely to Lie, Cheat, Study Suggests". So how does affluence semantically shift to mean veracity?

[2.] 「實」亦從充實引申有心裏充滿真誠的意思,指確切真實。金文如散氏盤:「實余有散氏心賊,則鞭千罰千。」這裏「實」字為假設之辭,意謂倘若屬實,猶典籍「誠」字之用,全句指倘若我真的對散氏有加害之心,則受鞭打千次、責罰千次。《左傳.宣公十二年》:「樂伯善哉!實其言,必長晉國。」

  1. How can the heart get "full" of sincerity? And how does fullness of sincerity in the heart semantically shift to veridicality, veraciousness?

I'm fascinated that the English 'real' and French réel purportedly shares this same semantic shift from the Latin res.


The character 實 depicts "money in a house", originally meant 'rich'

Now imagine two houses, One is a rich house full of valuable items and the other is a poor house that has nothing, is empty.

Now replace the two houses with two wine bottles. One is filled with wine, and the other is empty. The one with wine is honest, trustworthy because it has content, the empty bottle on the other hand, is simply empty.

Now imagine two person's words. One's words are filled with substance and the other's words are empty -- The one that is filled with substance is considered honest, and the empty one is considered the opposite

That's how 實 acquired the meaning of veracity -- there are contents inside

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