I am confused at these two characters some times. Could you please let me know etymology of these 2 characters? and advise any further analysis. Thanks

友 yǒu friend 犮 bá to pull up

1 Answer 1


友 is two hands 又 side by side. You can think of it as a handshake, which became the meaning for 'friend'.

犮 is a hand 又 holding onto a leash of a dog 犬. It could be a person pulling the leash or the dog is pulling the person. Back then, people traveled and explored unknown lands with a dog by their side for protection. 犮 is an obsolete character no longer used in modern writing. "Pull" is now clarified with an additional hand becoming 拔, while "travel" or "explore" is clarified with a leg becoming 跋.

  • Clearcut and straight to the point answer. confusion disappeared. Thanks Fishuman.
    – user27485
    Apr 9, 2021 at 4:24

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