Friday, February 7, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (263) Ink - 墨

The big seal script for character Ink is

The top
is Black - 黑 (See Post 183).

The bottom

is Soil - 土 (See Post 223)

Black Soil (黑土)is Ink, an ideogram character.

Here the Black is black charcoal. Ancient Chinese smashed charcoal and mixed with pine gum to make ink sticks. The character meant Ink sticks, not the liquid ink. It means Ink liquid right now because people don't use ink sticks anymore except some (not all) Chinese calligraphists and Chinese painters

Why didn't ancient Chinese call them Ink Stones, but Black Soil? I think the reason is because at the early time, people didn't know to add pine gum, or donkey-hide gelatin to the charcoal so the ink sticks were as loose as soil. As time past, people know how to make solid ink sticks with pine gum or donkey-hide gelatin.

The small seal script for Ink

The top is Black, and the bottom is soil.

The clerical script for Ink is

 Same as above, Black + Soil = Ink.

The song typeface for Ink is

Its Pinyin is Mo4.

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