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Questions tagged [glyph-origin]

Questions about the graphical origin and evolution of characters. Use [etymology] for the origin and history of Chinese words.

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Glyph origin of component 廴?

Recently after coming across the character 建 (jiàn; build, establish, erect, found), I've just happened to think about it's component 廴 (yǐn; long stride) and I've been kind of debating on its origins....
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What other role does 四 provide in 泗 besides being used as a sound component?

Recently, I've been thinking about this but after figuring out later written forms of 四 (sì; four) in bronze scripts (see below chart from 小學堂 for reference) depict a nose breathing out air and was ...
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Is the right componet of 龍 related to 弱?

The right component of the small seal script 龍 seems to be the mirror image of the components of 弱. I know the older historical forms of 龍 do not share this similarity but I can't help but wonder if ...
creallf's user avatar
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What is the glyph origins of 襄 and 𤕦?

Currently right now, I'm researching about the origins of the character 襄 (xiāng; to help, to assist) and the component that's presumably part of 襄 as sound component, 𤕦 (níng; unidentified meaning). ...
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Glyph origin of 咒?

Currently at the moment, I'm doing some research for the Dong Chinese's Chinese Character Wiki to fill in the entry for the character 咒 (zhòu; incantation, to curse (on somebody)), which is unverified ...
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why is "象" meaning representation, form, shape etc.?

character early writings is derived from the elephant by I can't find an explanation to why it became also use for this other meaning.
Nora Tjevcoviv's user avatar
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1 answer
351 views

Glyph origin of 面 ("noodles")

As I understand, the original character for wheat noodles was: 麪 semantic 麥 (“wheat”) + phonetic 丏 (OC *meːnʔ) which was later simplified to: 麵 semantic 麥 (“wheat”) + phonetic 面 (OC *mens) Which ...
大胳膊雅各布's user avatar
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422 views

Is 认 related to 人?

The verb "to know" 认 (rèn) is the simplified form of 認 (言 → 讠 and 忍 → 人). I'm not very familiar with the history behind simplifying characters, but I'm aware many characters generally have a ...
大胳膊雅各布's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
706 views

Glyph origin of 皆?

Currently at the moment finding out the origin of character 皆 (jiē; all, every, everybody). Just from reading it's entry on 說文解證 and according to 漢語多功能字庫, it states that the oracle bone script ...
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How did 發 and 髮 got written as 发 in simplified form?

Came across the character 发 (fā/fà; issue, dispatch, send out / hair) recently and I checked their traditional forms 發 and 髮. I wanted to know more about how 發 (fā; issue, dispatch, send out, emit [...
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Explanation for 士 character form: axe or farming hoe?

One popular explanation for the origin of the 士 character is that it originally shared virtually the same form as the 王 character (see forms circled in red below), where 王 depicts a broad axe and ...
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Glyph origin of 平?

I am currently doing my research right now for the glyph origin of the character 平 (píng; flat, even, level; peaceful) (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*breŋ/) and I would like to know what the origin of this ...
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Glyph origin and meaning of 臤

This character 臤 is an obsolete word, so I can't seem to figure out what this character is supposed to mean. To me it seems like an extension of the original 臣 with hand 又 added on to emphasize on ...
Fishuman's user avatar
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Glyph origin of component 龺?

Recently after I've happened to come across the component 倝 (gàn; sunrise, dawn) (Baxter-Sagart OC: *[k]ˤar-s), I was curious about the left component, or 龺, since I've also seen this component in ...
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2 votes
2 answers
555 views

What is the glyph origin of 規?

Currently at the moment, I'm doing my research on the glyph origin of 規/规 (guī; rules, regulations, customs, law) and I can't really come to a determination of what this character's origin is. I've ...
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Glyph origin of 鐵

I've never seen 𢧜 in any other character before, so I'll take that 𢧜 is exclusively for 鐵 (just like 邊 and 微 which I've asked before in the past). So where does 𢧜 come from? It seems to be a ...
Fishuman's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
228 views

What is the most recent glyph origin theory for 尺 and 乇?

Recently when I was researching the character 尺 (chǐ; Chinese measure approx. 'foot'), I've been trying my best to find any recent theories about this character that could be available. Now, I know ...
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How do I memorize Chinese characters that have an original meaning unrelated to their modern meaning?

I've been trying my best to combat this sort of thing recently but I couldn't really find a good way to solve this sort of problem I have when memorizing Chinese characters whose original meaning is ...
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Glyph origin of 蝠

Wiktionary states that 蝠 was originally a pictogram in the oracle bone and bronze scripts before changing to a phono-semantic compound (semantic 虫 + phonetic 畐). In a case like this, are the ...
Quppa's user avatar
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1 answer
281 views

Glyph origin of 郵

Almost every site I seen tell me that this is a phono-semantic character, but it always uses the simplified form 邮, which is pretty obvious that 由 is phonetic. But what about 郵? 垂 has no phonetic ...
Fishuman's user avatar
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2 votes
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511 views

What character is this bronze inscription character?

Recently after looking up the glyph origin of 丸 (wán; small round object; pellet, pill), I've noticed something when I looked up this character on 小學堂. Apparently this character existed during the ...
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Is 冘 and 何 related in terms of their glyph origin?

I know this might be bizarre but while I was searching up the ancient forms of 冘 (yín/yóu; to move on), I've seem to noticed something on the ancient forms for that character. I've took note that some ...
prismcool's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the most relevant theory origin for 由?

Today when I was learning the glyph origin of 由 (yóu; cause, reason, from), I happened to find out that its actual origin is unknown and that there were many theories out there that try to interpret ...
prismcool's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Glyph origin of 盟

What is the origin of this character 盟? Both 明 and the 皿 seem to be phonetic symbols as neither component has any link to its meaning of "alliance" or "pledge".
Fishuman's user avatar
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4 votes
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363 views

What is the correct origin of the sound component 禺?

After I came across the character 寓 (yù; residence), I wanted to know more about it's sound component 禺 (yú, yù; district/a mountain in Zhejiang) and it's origin. Unfortunately though, there are many ...
prismcool's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
799 views

What is the correct glyph origin of 失?

While I was looking up some origins regarding the character 失, I happen to come across three theories for the character. The most common one a lot of sources say about this character is that it was ...
prismcool's user avatar
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231 views

What is the glyph origin for 白?

Recently for a while now, I've been debating for a long time now on what 白 (white, clear) is supposed to depict. I've heard from a lot of sources that it could be either a rice grain, a thumb, an ...
prismcool's user avatar
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6 answers
557 views

What does 荤菜 mean and why isn't it called 肉菜?

My understanding is that 荤菜 means "meat dish" in Chinese. But I don't understand why. I read there is a saying "荤素搭配", which draws similarities to Yin and Yang. If someone knows ...
Sharkbird's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
135 views

What is 冎's history and its relation to 骨 and 剮?

I am currently studying the character 冎 and I found two interesting facts about it (reference): It is the pictographic protoform of 骨 It is an ancient form of 剮 So from the facts above, I made a ...
mawgumelar's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
159 views

What was the glyph origin of 己? What was its original meaning?

I understand that the current meaning of 己 is "oneself", which is different to its original meaning. Now I am curious about the history of the character. I found different opinions regarding ...
mawgumelar's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

What is the chinese kanji for yin-hoa?

What is the kanji for yin-hoa (all the colors of the rainbow) and its prononciation ? It is used as a name for a person. And what would be a more complete or alternative meaning of it ? and its origin ...
Soleil's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
141 views

What are the components (or radicals) that comprise the character '兼'?

Without the knowledge of a character's components or radicals, I find some difficulty recalling the meaning or pronunciation of that character. I have looked at this poster containing radicals here, ...
Eva Pesce's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
257 views

Are there translations of 汉字字源字典 dictionary to english?

If I will go here https://www.yw11.com/zidian/5416/ I will see this image from the book 汉字字源字典 or 汉语字源字典 (ISBN: 9787301046791) are the there translations of this book to english? are there high-...
srghma's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is 钾 (jiǎ) the Chinese character for potassium?

Elements on the periodic table are ascribed unique Chinese characters, and because they're relatively new characters (vs. thousands of years of history of the Chinese language), they're usually ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
347 views

四 (four) and 西 (west) similiar?

The character for west and 4 are very similar is there any explanation for this or is that pure coincidence? Specifically, if you remove the portion of 西 outside of the 口 what remains appears to be 四.
jonvw's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Why does 任 mean "no matter"? Where did the “no matter" sense of 任 come from?

As a glyph, 任 甲金文從「人」、「壬」聲,甲金文「壬」字作「工」形,金文於豎畫中間增一圓點,後圓點伸展為一橫。 As per Wiktionary, 任 originated from semantic 亻 (“person”) + phonetic 壬 (OC *l̥ʰeːŋʔ, *njɯm) – to carry on a shoulder pole. Note that its ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
382 views

What is the glyph origin of 乍 ( the radical in 怎 )?

My research has indicated 乍 is related to soil and farming, but I have seen other sources claim it's a collar of a robe. The meaning in English is "suddenly" - I assume this to be a phonetic ...
Adam Todes's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
356 views

What exactly does 几 mean in 凱? Which 几?

CUHK vouches that 凱 hails from 從「几」,「豈」聲,表示軍隊得勝所奏的樂曲。《陳書‧晉熙王叔文傳》:「(叔文)隨晉王、秦王等獻凱而入,列於廟廷。」 But Wiktionary lists 5 different meanings for 几, the semantic component! Collins lists 2. And none of them ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the glyph origin of 槑?

槑 is a variant character of 梅 comprised of two 呆. Both are pronounced "méi", and mean "plum blossom" (Prunus mume). But what would the glyph origin be like? 呆, pronounced "dāi&...
Josh's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
111 views

What is the normal process through which 多音字 develop?

Do 多音字 usually develop as separate words that just happen to be written in the same way? Or do they usually arise as one word that diverges into different pronunciations for its different senses? This ...
Buddy L's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is there a 女字旁 in the character 始?

Is it because we all begin life via a female ? My Pleco dictionary doesn't give any other meaning for 始 other than to begin.
Kantura's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
287 views

how hé is phonetic component for jiē?

I am going through 揭 “揭 jiē is composed of 曷 hé and 扌 “a hand; actions done with the hands,” pointing to the original meaning “to raise, hold s.t. up high.” 曷 gives the sound.” how hé is phonetic ...
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1 vote
2 answers
274 views

Why do 蓝 and 篮 look so similar?

Is there a reason why 蓝 (as in 蓝色 = blue) and 篮 (as in 篮球 = basketball) look so similar, or is it just a coincidence?
Joris Limonier's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
179 views

How did 徹 originally signify a hand breaking a pot?

Is Wiktionary, which can be wrong, correct? 彳 + 育 + 攵 (“hand”) – originally a hand breaking a pot. If it is, 攵 = hand, correct? But which Glyph (Is this the correct term? Or is this Morph? Morpheme?...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
138 views

Why's 辶 (“move”) the semantic component of 遺 and 述?

How do 遺's and 述's meanings appertain to its semantic component 辶? Oxford Chinese Dictionary (2010) p 689. Op. cit. p 885.
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
417 views

Is this really the bloody origin of 我?

Is 我 really so grisly? A saw for cutting off heads? Baidu: 图(A)是甲骨文里的“我”字,像把有柄有钩的古代武器——大斧,斧口有一排锋利的锯齿。这是奴隶社会里一种用来行刑杀人和肢解牲口的凶器,叫作wǒ,古代也有人把这种锯斧叫作“锜”。 图(A)是甲骨文里的“我”字, Picture (A) is the character found in ...
Pedroski's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
737 views

Meaning of early written versions of 地 and etymology?

The glyph origin section of https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%9C%B0 shows characters that look nothing like the modern "地" (with the exception of the "Small Seal Script" in "...
D.R's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
464 views

How did 來 ("wheat") compound with 𠂇 ("left hand") to mean 差?

If I translated CUHK correctly, it moots the concept of hulling wheat by rubbing grains inside hands, just as Wiktionary does. But this doesn't answer my question? How do 來 and 𠂇 semantically ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Does this character 𡵂 have a meaning or pronunciation?

I'm trying to find the meaning of 𡵂 which appears as component of characters in several languages. Here there is a reference to it, but it gives no meaning or pronunciation. 𡵂 Does this character 𡵂...
Pablo's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
149 views

Does this character 𤰔 have a meaning or pronunciation?

I was looking for the meaning of 𤰔 which appears as component of characters in several languages, and I couldnt find any. Having the meaning or pronunciation of a component it makes easier to ...
Pablo's user avatar
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