Monday, December 28, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (322) Show - 显

 The bronze script of character Show is


The top left is character Sun, the bottom left is character Silk, the right is character Meet - a big eye with a small body. The original meaning of the character is to put the silk under the sun to check carefully.

The big seal script of the character is


The top is Sun, the bottom is Silk, the person with big eye disappears, which is understandable because we Show the silk under the sun not the person with big eye who is the subject.

The small seal script of the character is 


The left is Sun + Silk, the right is character Page which is a human face originally with eyes (see post 257). It is a person who check the silk under the sun.

The clerical script of the character is

The left is Sun + Silk, and the right is character Page (頁).

I can't find big song typeface for the traditional character image, so use the standard script instead. They are almost same.

The simplified song typeface for simplified character is


which is changed a lot. The biggest change is to eliminate the right part, just keep the left part: the top is Sun, the Bottom is the silk but using simplified character 业,which may look like silk (?), but the meaning is Industry. This is a bad simplified character.

Its Pinyin is Xian3. 






Saturday, December 26, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (321) Ash - 灰

 The shell bone script of character Ash is


The bottom 

is Fire.

The top right is a hand which is holding a fire stick. The image shows that after fire, a person uses a fire stick to move something in the bottom of the fireplace: ash.

The big seal script of the character is 


the bottom is character Fire, the top-right is Hand, the fire stick is gone, which is not as good as the shell bone script because it is easy to think that people put his hand over the fire.

The small seal script of the character is


Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character is

The bottom is Fire, the top "One horizontal stroke + left falling stroke" means Hand here because the two bent lines of Hand in big or small script are straight now.

Its Pinyin is Hui1.





Monday, December 14, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (320) Print or Stamp - 印

 The shell bone script of character Print or Stamp is


The left top is a hand holding a man who is kneeling down prisoner. In the ancient time, the official forced the prisoner to be marked on the face by hot iron before he would be dispatched to remote area as a punishment.

The bronze script of the character is

The hand is over the man right now.

The small seal script of the character is

The hand is over the person who is twisted too much to be like a person kneeling down.

The clerical script of the character is

The hand is on the left, and the person is on the right but difficult to see any similarity to older scripts, and not like a person anymore.

The song typeface of the character is


Its Pinyin is Yin4.

The character means Print or Stamp, both verb or noun.





Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (319) Seek - 觅

 The bronze script of character Seek is 


the upper left is a hand, the right is a person with a big eye. Dictionary of Pictography 《象形字典》explanation is that people use hand and eyes to seek something. I think that another possibility is exist: the hand opens the eye bigger to seek something.

The big seal script of the character is

The hand is over eye now, it is more like "open the eye with hand".

The small seal script of the character is


The bottom is character Meet, the top is not like a hand, and unclear what it is.

The clerical script of the character is


The top is Hand, the bottom is Meet.

The song typeface for traditional character is

very similar to clerical script.

The song typeface for simplified character is

The bottom 见 is simplified character Meet.

Its pinyin is Mi4.


Monday, December 7, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (318) Temple - 庙

 The bronze script of character Temple is


The head 广 is a broad flat space in front of cliff, we see this in character Broad(Post 316). There is a character Sun - the circle with a dot inside, over and below it are grass. The right is a river, we see the water drops. 

In a broad space near a river, when the sun is rising just over the grass (very early morning), the King offers sacrifices to gods or ancestors. The character means "The place for King to hold worship activity". As time passed, it becomes to "The place for worship activity". It is obvious open space. 

Back to 3000+ years ago, there was no religious. After religious appeared, the character is used to represent "The place for the religious activities". It is a building where people could have religious activity every day. 

The big seal script of the character is


very similar to bronze script.

The smaal seal script of the character is 


 The "grass" below the sun is changed, the reason is unknown. The right "river" is changed to "boat", which is reasonable because "boat" is used in "river". 

The clerical script of the character is 


The two + over and under the 日 (Sun) are grass, which is same as older scripts. The right part is 月 (Moon), which is nothing to do with "river" or "boat". Dictionary of Pictography thinks that people just miswrote because “Boat" and "Moon" are similar in writing. I agree. 

The song typeface for traditional character Temple is

Almost same as the clerical script.

The song typeface for simplified character Temple is

Why is it changed to that? I don't know and didn't find explanation.

Its Pinyin is Miao4.



Monday, November 30, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (317) Harvest and Abundance - 丰

 The shell bone script of character Abundance is


The explanation of Dictionary of Pictography 《象形字典》 is that it is the tree in the border of districts, growing well. But I think that it should be the mature grain ear with soil or root (such as wheat, rice), the soil or root in the bottom means that it is still growing in field. The script means "Rich harvest", which is one of the character meanings.

One of the bronze script of the character is


similar to shell bone script.

Another bronze script of the character is

There is a cooking pot, there are two crop ears without root inside, so the ears are food now. Pot is full of the ears, which means Abundance.

The two are related: one is crop ear matured in the field (Harvest), another is a lot of ears ready to be cooked (Abundance)

The big seal script of the character is


similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

which is similar to bronze script of Harvest.

Another small seal script of the character is 


which is similar to bronze and big seal scripts of Abundance.

The clerical script of the character is


similar to old scripts of Abundance.

The traditional song typeface keeps two characters, one is

very similar to clerical script of Abundance.
 

another one is

similar to small seal script of Harvest. 

Simplified song typeface combines the two to one: 丰. In simplified song typeface, 丰 has both Harvest and Abundance meanings.

Both has same pronunciation: Feng1.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (316) Broad - 广

 The bronze script of the character Broad is


The top is the cliff, the bottom is character Yellow, actually an archery range with yellow target hanging on the wall of cliff. Because the range is big, so it means Broad, Big or Wide open space.

The big seal script of the character Broad is


similar to the bronze script.

The small seal script of character Broad is


Similar to older scripts.

The clerical script of the character is

We still can see the similarity.

The song typeface for traditional character is
The song typeface for simplified character is 

广
only the cliff - 广 left, 黄 disappears. 

Its Pinyin is Guang3.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (315) Gas - 气

 The shell bone script of character Gas is


The Dictionary of Pictography (象形字典)explains that the top line is the sky, the bottom line is the earth, the middle line is the air. I think that the three lines are air flow or light cloud. But it is same as character Three, which is confusing.

The bronze script of the character is


air flow or cloud in the sky, big difference from the character three.

The big seal script of the character is

similar to the bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

just the air low or cloud.

or

The top is the air flow, the bottom 


is Rice. 

In dictionary, the two are same. But I think that the top one is for air flow, gas, cloud, the physical flows outside human body; the bottom one is the flow of idea, or flow of energy in body, popular concepts in Qi Gong (Chi Gong) because it is related to human energy and activity, so there is character Rice - 米, food could produce the energy flow.

The clerical script of the character is


similar to the second small seal script above. 

The song typeface for traditional character is


very similar to the clerical script.

The song typeface for simplified character is


similar to the older scripts, the air flows. 

As I mentioned above, the character has two meanings: the physical air flow or gas or steam or water vapor or cloud, etc. also the flow of idea, energy in human body which is invisible, such as the Chi in Chi Gong (Qi Gong).


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (314) Owe - 欠

 The shell bone script of the character Owe is


A kneeling down man opens his big mouth, he is yawning. The original meaning of the character is Yawn. People yawn when they are insufficient of oxygen, or they owe oxygen to their body. Gradually the character means Owe but still keeps the Yawn.

The big seal script of the character is


similar to shell bone script, the top is a head with a big mouth, the bottom is a character Person.

The small seal script of the character is


The top right now is character Gas or Air, meaning the exhaled gas from mouth, the bottom is character Person. 

The clerical script of the character is

The top may be the simplified of Gas in small seal script, but it is not a good simplification. The bottom is character Person.

The song typeface of the character is


similar to clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Qian4.

The character means Owe in most of time, but still keeps the Yawn meaning in “哈欠” (must be used with 哈 to express Yawn, if a single 欠,  then it means Owe). 


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (313) Float - 浮

 The bronze script of character Float is


The left is Water radical, the right is character Gain - Trust (Post 303), 


(shell bone script), a hand catches a child. 

Right now, it is a hand holding a child in water, meaning Float. I feel that the original meaning of character Gain-Trust is float, but when people used it as Gain-Trust, so added water radical to make a new character to keep the float meaning, a normal way to create new characters.

The big seal script of the character is 

similar to bronze script.

The small script of the character is


similar to the older scripts.

The clerical script of the character is
water radical on the left, and hand on the right top, and the child on the right bottom, all the same as older scripts just the lines are more straight.

Its Pinyin is Fu2.



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (312) Fierce - 凶

 The shell bone script of character Fierce is


The outside means a hole, inside is thorns, which is dangerous to people. The original meaning of the character is Bad Omen.

The small seal script of the character is


very similar to the shell bone script.

The clerical script of the character is

similar to older scripts. 

The song typeface for the character is


still very similar.

Right now, the character means fierce, vicious, brutal. Occasionally it means bad omen too. 

Its Pinyin is Xiong1.

It is a simple character, has not changed for more than 3000 years.  The character means dangerous situation, environment, and time; sometimes it means bad omen, or fierce of a person/animal's behavior.