Thursday, June 15, 2017

Amazing Chinese Characters (156) Eight and Separate - 八,分

In English, there is no relationship between Eight and Separate, but there is close relationship between Chinese characters Eight and Separate. So I discuss them together.

The shell bone script of character Eight is
which was character Separate originally. We can understand why. One curve stroke on the left and another on the right, just like two separated halves.

Why did ancient Chinese take Separate as Eight? Because to separate something is to cut it by half, Chinese had used Hexadecimal system from ancient time to 1949. Half in hexadecimal system is eight. Separate something equally is to make two Eights. 

The bronze script of the character is


Similar to shell bone script, but more symmetrical.

The big seal script of Eight is
Similar to older scripts.

The small seal script of Eight is


Similar to the shell bone script but very symmetrical.

The clerical script of Eight is


The song typeface of the character is
very similar to its clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Ba1.

The character had been used for number eight as early as 3000 years ago. So people created a new character for Separate or Divide. 

Let's see its shell bone script,
We see the character is character 八, plus a
which means Knife. Separate is using a knife to cut some thing to two parts. The new character is more like a verb, and original one is more like an adjective.

The bronze script of Separate is
Similar to shell bone script.

The big seal script of Separate is
Similar to older scripts.

The small seal script of Separate is
All are similar to shell bone script.

Its clerical script is

which has been used for 2000 years.

Its song typeface of the charactert is

very similar to clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Fen1.

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