Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Amazing Chinese Characters (103) Friend - 友

The shell bone script for Friend is


two hands holding each other (Post 102) means that the  two people are friends.


The small seal script is


similar to its shell bone script, just there two small seal script hands.

The clerical script on the Mawangdui silk text (马王堆帛书)


which was discovered from Mawangdui Han Tomb, Changsha, China in 1971, the tomb is believed to be built in 168 B.C., the West Han Dynasty, early Han Dynasty.

We see that there are two hands.

The clerical script is


which should be the script of late Han Dynasty. It is changed on the top, but if we imagine that the top horizontal line bent down to the right, the "又“ disconnected from the top, we could see a similar "hand" as the one above. The bottom part is character Again -又,meaning "hand" originally (Post 102). So it actually is two "hands" overlapping.

We can think that the clerical script put the two hands touching together - hand in hand.

which means "Friendship" everywhere in the world.

Its current standard printing script is


same as its clerical script.


Its Pinyin is "You3".


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