Questions tagged [glyph-origin]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does 負 also mean “minus” and “negative”?

The meaning of "negative" contradicts the "Formation Method" of "person carrying a lot of money" in Yellowbridge below. Unquestionably, if a person carries a lot of money,...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Etymology of 制 zhì = make, manufacture

What is the etymology of 制? how the meaning is evolved to Make, manufacture? Ox + hand kerchief + knife becomes Make or Manufacture?
-1
votes
5answers
163 views

Any mnemonic for 摔 shuāi = fall & etymology for 率

The word 摔 means fall: 摔 shuāi to fall, tumble, lose one’s balance Generally the fall action comes with leg, although hand also related. any mnemonic or story to remember this? Gugg had given good ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Glyph origin for 㐆 and Mnemonic for 殷

Came across through the word 殷勤. could you please help with Glyph origin for : 㐆yǐn to follow, to trust to, to put confidence in, to depend on, to turn around Any any mnemonic to remember this? 殷 yīn ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Understanding the glyph origin of 占

I have the following etymology from Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters: 占 depicts cracks (卜) in a turtle shell and a hole (口) drilled into the shell during the divination process. Its original ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Glyph origin or any mnemonic for 蕴?

I failed to remember the meaning for the word 蕴含 yùnhán. Is any mnemonic or story or etymological hints to remember 蕴?
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there any mnemonic to remember 支 and 技?

I am using Flashcards to remember vocabulary, but could not remember the meanings for these 2 words. If you have any easy mnemonic, image or story, please advise. thanks 支 zhī disperse, pay, support,...
1
vote
3answers
107 views

不自量力 can this be used to under estimate one’s capabilities also?

I understand the meaning of 量 is measure, estimate. But how the capacity also was the meaning? any background, etymology? 量 liàng measure, estimate, capacity, quantity 不自量力 bùzìliànglì not have a ...
1
vote
2answers
388 views

In “一网打尽” what does 尽 mean?

一网打尽 yīwǎngdǎjìn lit. to catch everything in the one net. In this sentence what does 尽 means? how to easily remember the meaning by seeing the character without wild guess and imagining etymological ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

etymology of 友, 犮

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
0
votes
3answers
218 views

Radical 163 Vs 170

What are the differences between these two radicals? What is etymology? Both represent same character or different? ⻖yì mound, abundant R170 ⻏ fú city R163
1
vote
1answer
61 views

What is the meaning of 放 fàng in this idiom?

The meaning of 放 fàng from dictionary is “put, release”. “Put or place” is an entirely opposite word / antonym of “release, free, liberate” Then what does 放 mean in the following idiom: 放在心上 ...
3
votes
2answers
377 views

How does 稱's 2021 meanings appertain to its semantic component 禾?

CUHK doesn't expound the semantic shift from 禾. I underlined definition 4 below in green, because I know that rice and grains may need to be weighed. But I don't understand how definition 4 relates ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

Any hypothesis to remember 刑?

Any easy way or background why Well + knife is Punishment? Knife is related punishment, but after killing with knife any history to through them in the well? wikitionary details about 刑: Originally ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Glyph origin of the character for frequency 频/頻 = steps + head?

What's the story behind this character 频? Neither of its components contribute phonetically to it, yet I can't seem to relate any of its components 步 steps and head/face 页 to its meaning of frequent/...
2
votes
2answers
505 views

Why west and wine vessel/10 th terrestrial branch are similar?

西 xī west 酉 yǒu a wine vessel, 10 th terrestrial branch Which word is first invented? Why these 2 are similar with a small line as an addition? Thanks
1
vote
2answers
211 views

what exact image is the basis for the 圭?

The Hanzi meaning for 圭 guī = (old) jade tablet (a ceremonial badge of rank) I checked the images, not sure based on what jade tablet 圭 is drawn, can any one point to the correct image? Thanks
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Etymology of 策, 朿

What is the etymology of 策 and 朿 ? As per dictionary the meanings are as below: 朿 cì stab 策 cè policy, plan, scheme, bamboo slip for writing(old), to whip (a horse), to encourage, upward horizontal ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Etymology of 此 cǐ this, these?

What is the etymology of cǐ ? How this character means those, these?
2
votes
2answers
184 views

What is the etymology of 斥

Learning the word 斥 chì to blame,to reprimand, to expel, (of territory) to expand. What is the etymology and how it is to blame?
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Glyph origin of 盗

What's the story behind this character 盗? None of the components seems to hint at the sound, or the meaning of 'pirate/steal/rob', unless water in the upper left part and is the bottom component a ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

Why 独 〔獨〕 dú is alone?

I am learning the word 独 dú alone. Dog plus Insect become alone? Any ancient history or story behind this?
3
votes
1answer
156 views

Do 形声 words have an approximate or historical phonetic part?

There are many examples of 形声 compounds that have a phonetic component that does not match the pronunciation of the word. Some examples are the 鬼 in 愧, the 其 in 基, or the 白 in 泊. Are these ...
3
votes
2answers
627 views

What is this glyph image for 父 representing?

I am trying to visualise this image for 父. What exactly is this image ?
1
vote
3answers
377 views

Why 怕 is afraid or fear?

Learning this word 怕 which is heart and bright. It means bright and blemishless heart like Brave Heart. Why this is fear heart?
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Glyph origin of 录. Is the original form 禄, 録, or 剥?

Did 录 or 彔 look like some wooden object being carved? Was it originally a knife chipping something which became 録 as in recording events on a wooden object? It also seems to resemble a knife stripping ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Glyph origin of 邊/边

What's the story behind this character 邊? This seems to be another "phonetic-semantic" explanation on this character with 辵 as the semantic and 臱 as the phonetic. But what exactly is 臱? I ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a reason why 午 and 年 look so similar?

These words don't have meanings that are similar, but why do they look nearly identical? Is it just a coincidence?
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any sun 日 in 昌?

I've been seeing conflicting explanations for this character 昌. Some sources say it comprised of two suns 日, some sources say it comprises of sun and speak 日 meaning flourish, though I don't really ...
4
votes
1answer
401 views

How did 漢 come to represent the Han people and civilization?

It appears that this character consists of a meaning part and a sound part: a water radical (i.e. section header for water in Kangxi dictionary) for meaning, and the character 𦰩 for sound. Radical - ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How Did 是 Come to Mean “To Be”?

I have been looking into the etymology of the character 是. The site Chinese Etymology notes that this character was: "originally meaning straight or correct. The sun 旦 rises or 早 in the correct 正 ...
2
votes
4answers
195 views

Glyph origin of 款

Where does this character 款 come from? Its meanings (model/style or fee/payment) doesn't seem to have any link to the semantic part 欠, unless it specifically refers to owed money/payment? And what ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

How did 閒 end up becoming 閑 and 間?

I can understand the link between 閒 and 間/间, being the empty spaces where moonlight or sunlight can shine through the doors --> empty space. But how did this 閒 also end up becoming similar to 閑/闲? ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

𦰩 and 難 glyph origins. Did 难/難 used to be a bird?

Apologies if my question is too similar to the one in Why is the radical of 难 > 隹 and not 又? The link in there is broken unfortunately and I am unable to find the source. This character for ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Glyph origins of the character 微

How does this character meaning become "small/tiny"? So many sources tell me that it's semantic 彳 + "phonetic" 𢼸, but what exactly is 𢼸? I've never seen this character elsewhere ...
3
votes
2answers
896 views

What does rain 雨 have to do with mold 霉 and bad luck?

Almost all the other characters with the 雨 component have relation to rain, clouds, and weather. However, this character 霉 seems to be the exception. It means mold, but the rain semantic seems very ...
1
vote
3answers
349 views

校 - How did “leg-brace” come to mean “school”?

When learning Chinese characters using radicals, this character 校 always seem to puzzle me. I've always known 校 to be school, but the "wood" radical never made any sense to me. What does ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Isn't it ironic that 淡 uses 炎, duplication of 火, as its phonetic component?

Does the phonetic component for 淡 bemuse anyone else? Why not develop or embrace some other phonetic component that isn't semantically antonymous to 淡? Doubtless, water ( 氵) is 淡, but 火, let alone ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How does 舟 resemble a boat?

I don't wholly fathom this progression chart. I ticked, in green below, the only glyph that resembles anything like a boat, but that "Bronze Script" doesn't resemble 舟. Doubtless, boats ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Glyph origin of 「凉」 and its relation with 「涼」

「涼」 and 「凉」 are thought to have different origins, and are different characters altogether. From 《洪武正韻牋》: 本有凉涼二字,从冫者寒凉之凉,从氵涼德涼踽之涼。 Both these characters can be used for the meaning cold, but that ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

How was 言 created by adding one mark to 舌?

To create 言 - Wiktionary, mustn't you add more than one mark to 舌? Sorry for not being able to visualize abstractly! Ideogram (指事): 言 was created by adding a mark to 舌 to indicate movement of the ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

Why is the traditional character for 你 also 你 and not 儞 when the traditional character for 尔 is 爾?

I found an interesting question posted on Reddit's /r/ChineseLanguage: If 你 is 亻(人) + 尔 , but 尔’s tradicional version is 爾 , shouldn’t 你’s traditional version be 儞 ?? I don't know the answer so I ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Relation between「帳」and「賬」

「賬」is said to be a derivative character (分化字) of「帳」, itself being a derivative character of「張」. The meaning of「帳」is related to tents, screens, or curtains: 《玉篇》帷也,張也,幬也。 「賬」has meanings relating to ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Characters' original forms that have no independent usage

I came across this entry for 囗 in 季旭昇's《說文新證》: 釋義:城邑。圍的初文。《說文》釋爲「回也」,不可從。 釋形:古文字未見單獨出現的囗字,但在偏旁中多見,學者都釋爲城邑的象形,可從。《說文》釋爲「象回帀之形」,不可從。 He mentions that 囗 is the original form of 圍, but 囗 was never seen ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Glyph origin of 滅

The original meaning of 滅 is often said to be to extinguish a fire. 《易·大過》過涉滅頂。又火熄也。 And if the original form of 滅 is 烕, then the reason 水 was added to 烕 seems fairly straightforward. To me, the ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What semantic notions underlie 妥 (suitable') with 爫 (爪 or claw) and 女?

Reading 穩妥's etymology spurred me to read 妥's. I screenshot Yellowbridge. I truly hope this etymology doesn't relate to the inhumane barbarism of foot binding in China! Translingual Han character 妥 (...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

What semantic notions underlie 吳 (shouting) with 夨 (man with tilted head)?

Reading 誤's etymology spurred me to read 吳's etymology. Shouting doesn't require you to tilt your head, so why was 夨 used? Why not just use 人? Glyph origin Ideogrammic compound (會意): 口 (“...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

How does 殳 resemble a hand holding a tool?

After reading the etymology of 設, I read that of one of the underlying ideograms: 殳. Pictogram (象形) or Ideogrammic compound (會意): 几 + 又 – a hand holding a tool, hence activity. How does 几 resemble ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

What semantic notions underlie 駁 (to rebut) with 馬 (horses) and/or 爻 (I Ching's hexagrams)?

I'm trying to understand the etymology for definition 3 (to rebut) below in 駁 - Wiktionary. Yellowbridge: Han character 駁 (radical 187, 馬+4, 14 strokes, cangjie input 尸火大大 (SFKK), four-corner 74340, ...
1
vote
3answers
339 views

What semantic notions underlie 頁 ('page') with '預' ('beforehand')?

I'm especially baffled because 'page' is physical, but 'beforehand' isn't physical. I screenshot Yellowbridge and quote 預 - Wiktionary. Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *las): phonetic 予 (OC *la, *...