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Since deserts are made of sand, does anyone have a clue why the character has 氵 in it?

Does it mean "desert" in the sense of "desolate"?

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  • 沙.... also has water in it – 小奥利奥 Nov 24 '20 at 20:35
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First, let's look at why 沙 (sand) is related to 水(water)

  • Sand is found mostly on 滩岸 (beach and shore), close to a body of water (ocean, river, etc.)

  • Sand is created by water eroding rock

  • like water, sand can 流動 (flow)

: 北方流沙也。——《说文》 (漠 = flowing/ moving sand in the north)

A desert is in effect, an ocean of sand. Therefore, it is closely related to sand, and sand is closely related to water.

One interesting fact -- 莫 means 'without', so you can think of 漠 as 'without water'. The person who coined the word '漠' for 'desert' might have that in mind too

Side note: 少 means 'little', I suspect the word 沙 might be coined with the idea of 'made little by water' too

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