Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Amazing Chinese Characters (164) Due to - 由

The shell bone script of character Due to is

one drop over an oil can.

The bronze script of character Due to is

Similar to shell bone script.

Its big seal script are

Which are seal scripts for Oil, the left is older than the right. all are oil pots with lids, tubes, and oil drop.

The clerical script for character Oil is

similar to the far right of small seal script above.

Its pinyin is You2.  

The character original means Oil, but gradually changed the meaning to Due To. I guess the reason is Borrowing (假借), which is a new meaning is expressed by an existed character which has another meaning. Why did this happen? Because there were less characters than the meanings, therefore, one character means multiple meanings at the beginning, the new meaning on the character could replace the original meaning, which is called Borrowing. Normally, people would make a new character for the original meaning by adding a related radical to the character to distinguish.

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