Several years ago, I worked for a firm where I needed to show Chinese characters, and apparently the more complex ones were not clearly displayed. While solving that problem, I needed a test character and a Chinese colleague proposed me some Chinese character, being composed of 53 or 54 strokes, meaning "noodle soup", she claimed that character was the most complex one and contained the recipe of the meal.

Yesterday, I asked ChatGPT about other complex Chinese characters, and this is a part of the conversation:

My question: The most elaborated character in Chinese language is the character for noodle soup: the character is the recipe of the meal. Are there other examples of Chinese characters, which involve an entire story?

ChatGPT's answer: (...) the claim that the character for noodle soup is the most elaborated character in the Chinese language, representing the entire recipe of the meal, is a common myth or misconception. (...)

I don't work for that firm anymore, so I have no way to verify this.

Does anybody know if ChatGPT is correct: one of my funniest workplace memories is based on a myth or a misconception? Or is ChatGPT plain wrong?

  • ? Why the downvote? Is there another site I should ask such questions?
    – Dominique
    May 30 at 12:30
  • There is indeed – there is a dedicated Chinese Language site where this would be a better fit. For the record: although the biáng character is the most complex one you’re likely to find in the wild, there are others with higher stroke counts, even excluding modern inventions like the Japanese one linked to in John’s answer. Many of them are quite obscure, though, and it’s not certain exactly what they mean; 𠔻 zhèng is said to mean ‘flourish’, but its attestation is extremely scant, and 𪚥 supposedly means ‘talkative’. May 30 at 13:20
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    I’m voting to close this question because questions about the correctness of ChatGPT information are off-topic.
    – user6726
    May 30 at 16:46
  • This is one invented English word: "YouCanMakeUpAnEnglishWordByTypingEntireBookWithoutSpaces".
    – r13
    May 30 at 18:15
  • 1
    Not meaning to be unwelcoming here, but we've had this question a few times already. It's basically biáng, if you consider it valid. It's actually used in China, in the name of a popular noodle dish, but it's not easily typeset so menus often say "biangbiang面" (using Latin letters). This list (simplified) for high-school students has 齉 as the character with the most strokes.
    – Becky 李蓓
    May 31 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


In a way, that's true, see Wikipedia Biangbiang noodles:

Both the traditional and simplified Chinese characters for biáng were encoded in Unicode, on March 20, 2020, for Unicode 13.0.0. The code point is U+30EDE for the traditional form (𰻞) and U+30EDD for the simplified form (𰻝).

Some might call this character out for being 'invented' or 'made up', but then all of writing has been invented at some point in time. The character is mainly used in a small region for a very specific product, but then there are quite a few characters that only occur e.g. in a single place name which doesn't keep them from being regarded characters.

But keep in mind that people can, have, and will create new characters for the fun of it, e.g. there is this famous character with 108 strokes.

  • However, you would certainly not use the character composition of biáng to prepare biángbiáng miàn!
    – Michaelyus
    May 30 at 11:52
  • not sure you're joking? May 30 at 12:21
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    Only semi-jokingly, in reference to that part of the OP's question. Horse meat and heart are not considered standard additions to biángbiáng miàn, but they are part of its character composition. Additionally, the character lacks wheat/noodle components, and even omits water (essential for good gluten development!).
    – Michaelyus
    May 30 at 13:21
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    @Michaelyus I would also be very wary of adding silk, the Moon or caves to my biangbiang noodles. [Okay, the Moon may be meat, but that doesn’t work so well for comedic effect.] May 30 at 17:21
  • You surely can stack up Chinese letters to make an artistic symbol, but a symbol is not an invented word that has meanings and proper uses. The same is true for all languages.
    – r13
    May 30 at 18:00

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