Sunday, July 21, 2019

Amazing Chinese Characters (234) Ding (Surname) - 丁

Ding is a popular Chinese Surname.

The shell bone script of Ding



They are heads of bamboo nails, that is the original meaning of Ding.


or wooden wedge

So the original meaning of 丁 is Nail or anything small with a sharp end.

Its bronze script



different shapes of nail heads.

Its big seal script is


The top of a nail.

Its small seal script


Its clerical script

Song typeface

Long time ago, people started to use metal nails, so ancient Chinese created a new character for the metal nails, which is 金(gold or metal) + 丁 = 钉。 丁 is most used in surname right now with a few other meanings such as Small, but the original meaning of Nail is unknown to most people. 

Its Pinyin is Ding1.

丁 is a popular surname right now, and character with the least strokes. In Chinese, a name list is alway listed in the order of number of strokes, the least in the first. So 丁 is always the first surname in any name list. 一 (One) has the least strokes but it is not a surname.

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