「昌」 (early morning call, e.g. to the day's labour) is comprised of semantic 「日」 (sun) on top of semantic 「口」 (mouth). Such calls would likely be rhythmic or melodious, similar to bugle calls, making the interpretation of 「昌」 as the original form of 「唱」 (to sing).
Indeed, 「靜」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*zleŋʔ/, calm/quiet) is a phonetic loan character, and both its components 「青」 (/*sʰleːŋ/) and 「爭」 (/*ʔsreːŋ/) are phonetic components.
Unfortunately, the inscription record is rather scarce and by itself may not actually represent the language that well. Based on the usage of 「靜」, the meaning calm/quiet may have been a semantic ...
「黴」 (Zhengzhang OC: /*mrɯl/), blackening from being afflicted by prolonged rain. From semantic 「黑」 (black) and reduced phonetic 「微」 (/*mɯl/).
The character 「霉」 (mould, mildew) did not exist originally, with the word that it represents being originally written as 「黴」. From character definitions, 「黴」 originally referred to the dark ...
「缺」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*Nə-[k]ʷʰˤet/, to damage/break vessels [pots, dishes, urns, etc.] > flawed, deficient, lacking) is comprised of semantic 「缶」 (clay jar) and phonetic 「夬」 (/*[k]ʷˤret-s/). That is, the phonetic component 「夬」 originally matched the pronunciation of 「缺」 much better, and this match occasionally survives in other characters like 「決」.
In short, for disambiguation, at least oral disambiguation.
Most of the words in Old Chinese are monosyllabic words. However, when it comes to oral speech, it is too ambiguous to use. As time went by, we developed Modern Chinese, which encourages the usage of disyllabic words, for oral disambiguation.
In oral speech, the monosyllabic word "dōng" ...
According to 《通用规范汉字表》("General Standard Chinese Character Table"), "左部件或左上部件末笔为横的，应该变形为提"(The end stroke of the left part or the upper left part is horizontal character stroke(横), it should be changed upwards character stroke(提)). "骑" meets this condition. "马" is its lest part, the last stroke is horizontal character ...
The top part of 「益」 is just a 「氺」 (水) rotated 90 degrees.
This makes the top part of 「益」 just a variant of 「水」. Predictably, the character 「㳑」 is the variant with more standard components, although this character itself is not standard.
Normally, a search for a list like the one in the question ...
Seeing as all the other answers are getting downvoted - I'll just leave this short reference here:
款 kuǎn was originally composed of 柰 nài (now written 𰧭) and 欠 “person with their mouth open,” which hints at the original meaning “to desire something that one does not have.” 柰 gave the sound (but for the reading kuài).
In 款 kuǎn, �...
A first reminder:
Chinese characters represent Chinese morphemes;
In addition to meaning, Chinese morphemes overwhelmingly have one-syllable sounds as a core part of their property;
As character components, do not ever disregard that a lot of components only hint at the sound of a Chinese morpheme, and not the meaning.
If you only rely on the meaning of a ...
「邊」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*pˤe[n]/, borders [e.g. of a political territory or geographical region]) was originally constructed from semantic 「自」 (from, beginning of [a location]) and phonetic 「丙」 (/*praŋʔ/). To clarify, 「自」 (from) is used to indicate that A political territory ...
「款」 was originally written as 「歀」, and the reference in 李學勤《字源》 claims that 「款」 was constructed for a sound like /*kʰʷraːds/ (Zhengzhang OC), making 「柰」 (/*naːds/) the sound component. 「款」 was later used for /*kʰloːnʔ/ (Mandarin Pinyin: kuǎn), and 「柰」 was later corrupted into 「⿱士示」.
「款」 (empty/hollow [now ...
You need to do some linear thinking to understand the extended meaning of a word
下雨天时 --> 空气潮湿 --> 东西发霉
When it rains --> the air turn humid --> things get moldy
According to this story, 倒霉 was originally written as 倒楣
But we can still interpret 倒霉 as 倒运， 霉运 = bad luck / unlucky
霉运 = 烂运， 坏运 -- things get moldy (霉) will turn rotten /bad (烂/ ...
「微」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*məj/), to travel [somewhere] under stealth. From semantic 「彳」 (to walk) and phonetic 「𣁋」 (/*məj/).
Strictly speaking, 「微」 is just a complexified character from 「𣁋」. Characters naturally become more complex over time for disambiguation purposes, as simpler characters tend to be used and reused for other ...
Here is a list of character:
With some search I found this website http://www.chise.org/.
I'll quote some of its intoduction here:
For freedom of character representation
The CHISE (CHaracter Information Service Environment) project is an open source research and development project aiming at ...
Here the ○ icon is an indicator of a phonetic loan. So, basically it is just a:
character that is "borrowed" to write another homophonous or near-homophonous morpheme
It seems that the earliest reading was jiào and not xiào; 校 was just borrowed for its close proximity in sound.
I'm going to give a simple answer first - I'm sure better more complete answers will come to follow.
難 nán (also nàn) is composed of 堇 jiān and 隹 “bird,” which hints at the original meaning “type of bird.” 堇 gives the sound.
In 難 nán (also nàn), 堇 jiān is a sound component, though this is not obvious in modern Mandarin.
In 難, 隹 “...
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
You can click into the page of each character with this component, such as 春, 奉, 泰, etc, to see their glyph origins. Actually they may have several different origins although they all have the shape of 𡗗 now. For instance, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%A5%89#Glyph_origin says the above part was phonetic 丰 and was later corrupted to 𡗗. https://en....
The character 「丑」 is not related to the character 「醜」. Correspondingly, there is no relation between 「羞」 and 「醜」. 「丑」 is exclusively used nowadays for the meaning second earthly branch; PRC's usage of 「丑」 to mean ugly is a phonetic loan, and is not shared among other character-using languages.
The character system and the Chinese language don't really work ...
羞 didn't originally mean shame/shy and 丑 didn't originally mean ugly.
丑 is originally a hand with curled fingers, later borrowed to become an earthly branch. Ugly, and all its associated meanings like disgrace, shame, and even clown were originally 醜, which became replaced with 丑 in 'simplified' Chinese. I believe 丑 was borrowed as part of 羞.
羞 is a hand 手 ...
「盗」 is Simplified Chinese, the orthodox character is 「盜」.
Barring new excavated evidence, 「盜」 is only unambiguously traceable back to around the Qín era. Under these circumstances, the standard practice is to take Shuōwén's explanation ...
Please note "学校" is not a Chinese concept at all
this info is incorrect
“學校” as a term, referred to “school”, is quite ancient. even a simple search in ctext.org have 24 occurrences in literatures before 秦 dynasty:
most of them means “school”, such as:
後漢書 列傳 班彪列傳下
Radicals do not have anything to do with meaning.
I'll start off with a rather lengthy correction to a common misconception. Radicals (部首, literally section 部 header 首) are just a dictionary organisation tool, specifically used for texts which collate and refer to a large collection of characters, serving as the head of each section of a dictionary. They are ...
氣: Phono-semantic compound (形聲, OC *kʰɯds, *qʰɯds): phonetic 气 (OC *kʰɯds) + semantic 米 (“rice”) – to give rice as a gift.
气 (OC *kʰɯds) is a pictogram (象形) of clouds flowing through the sky. In the oracle bone script, it was represented by three horizontal strokes, expressing the "feeling" of the sky. However, in order to avoid ...