Today I realised that:

象 means "elephant" which is the biggest land-dwelling animal,

亻+ 象 = 像 means "statue" which is the biggest person (I mean, a statue is the biggest representation of a human in the world),

木 + 象 = 橡 means "oak" which is the biggest tree.

Are there more of this 象 pattern? I'm sure these are not a coincidence.

  • 豫,yu,予➕象,in ancient China,it means happy ,its a very very old word
    – chao gao
    Dec 15, 2020 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


The character 象 is a pictograph that depicts the image of an elephant. Its role in 像 and 橡 is as a phonetic component. It doesn't indicate 'size' or 'largest'.

像 (like; resemblance) and 橡(oak) have nothing to do with elephants. (象 means elephant is irrelevant, it is there for the sound)

Side note: 雕像 (statue) can be any size, some can be held in your hand

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