Friday, May 29, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (294) Epidemic - 疫

The shell bone script of character Epidemic is


The right part is a vertical bed (Post 151), the middle part is a person (Post 37), the lower left is a hand holding a stick.

The explanation could be
1, the person who is infected is lying on bed, some one standing near the bed hold a stick to force the patient staying on bed in order to avoid infecting others
2, the person who stands near the bed is taking care of the patient.



The big seal script of the character is
The bed is on the left right now, the lower right is the hand, the 厂 on the top could be headboard, the part on the hand could be the patient, just too small.  I just guessed.

The small seal script of the character is

similar to the big seal script on the left bed and lower right hand, the top horizontal line could be the headboard, under which is the patient.

The clerical script of the character is
The change is big. The 几 is the patient, and 又 is the hand.

The top and side part

is bed + headboard, which is a popular radical, called "Sickness Head", any character with this radical is related to sickness.

Its pinyin is Yi4.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (293) Path - 径(徑)

The big seal script of character Path is


The left is the left half of character of Walk (Post 96)

The left half of Walk is called Radical Double People, but in character, it is related to Walk.

The right part of the character Path is the path forward. Actually, it is the top part. The bottom part is unknown, may be the materials of the path surface, such as wood board or stone.


The small seal script of character Path is

Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of character Path is
The path on the right top is not smooth.

The traditional song typeface is
very similar to its clerical script.

The simplified song typeface is
The right top becomes completely strange, nothing to do with path anymore.

Its Pinyin is Jing4.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (292) Crystal - 晶

The shell bone script of character Crystal is

All Dictionary I have seen so far explain that there are 3 suns or stars because they are like the shell bone script of character Sun (Post 4),

Actually, they are not like the Sun.

I think that there are 3 crystals, probably gem crystals. The dot is in the middle is the reflective point on the crystal.


Which is not only better similarity, but more reasonable because 3 suns or stars are not like the crystals.

The big seal script of the character is

almost the same as the shell bone script

They are similar to the big seal script of Sun

But not the same.

The small seal script of the character is

They are like small seal script of Sun,
People at that time might have believed that they are Suns.

The clerical script of character Crystal is
Right now they are 3 Suns, but is away from the original meaning.

Its Pinyin is Jing1.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (291) Have - 有

The shell bone script of character Have is

which is same character Again - 又 (Post 102). It is a right hand, means that people's hand could hold something.

The bronze script of the character is

The right is the hand holding a
 which is meat (Post 252). The hand holds a piece of meat: the person has a valuable thing.

The big seal script of the character is
similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

similar but the hand is separated from the meat.

The clerical script of the character is
The lines become straight, difficult to see the pictography any more.

Its Pinyin is You3.




Friday, May 22, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (290) Bent - 曲

The shell bone script of character Bent is
which is an unfinished bamboo chair, the bamboo is bent to 90 degree.

To make a bamboo chair, people cut the bamboo half, put the skin of other side on fire to heat it up,


the bamboo skin becomes soft, and easily being bent before it is cool down.


The wood could be bent too, people make the same type of chairs from wood tree.

The big seal script of the character Bent is
Very similar to the shell bone script.

The small script of the character is

becomes symmetric.

The clerical script of the character is
the top and middle lines are connected. It is easier to right, but the pictography is gone, which is the major trend in the Chinese evolution: To make the writing easier but lose the pictography. 

The song typeface of the character is
Same as clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Qu1.

The character 曲 also means song, and music now but the pronunciation become Qu3. I have not found a very good explanation why it could mean song and music.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (289) Get-in - 入

The shell bone script for character Get-in is

Dictionary of Pictography explanation: it is like a cover of a utensil, means that people put something into a container, and cover up.

Some people believe that it is a head of arrow, which could be shot into a place. I agree with the dictionary, it should be a cover.

The big seal script for the character is
The handle is very long.

The small seal script for the character is

This is like a high cover.

The clerical script for the character is
The handle is not straight up, but becomes part of the right falling stroke, which is for people to write easier.

It is very similar to
Which is character People or Person (Post 37).

Don't be confused by the two.

Its Pinyin is Ru4.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (288) Old - 老

The shell bone script of character 老 is

which is an old man with a stick. The top is the hair, the bent back, and a hand. The bottom is the stick.


The big seal script of character Old is
The top is very similar to shell bone script, the stick on the bottom is following down.

The small seal script of the character Old is
Similar to big seal script.

The clerical script of the character Old is
Changed a lot, but we still can see that it has some similarity to old scripts.

Its Pinyin is Lao3.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (287) Calculate - 算

The bronze script for character Calculate is

which is a schematic diagram, the bamboo sticks in different arrays to express different number.


The big seal script for the character is
The top is called "Bamboo head", means that the character is related to bamboo. The middle is the diagram of the bamboo sticks, and the bottom are two hands.

The small seal script for the character is
Similar to the big seal script.

The clerical script for the character is
Some similarity to the old scripts.

Which is similar to Chinese abacus.


which has been used about at least 1800 years.

It is interesting to point out that the character had a simplified song typeface:


Which had been used for decades, but it is abolished recently. I didn't pay attention when it was abolished, probably 10 years already. You may see this character in some newspapers or documents printed in 1960s to 2000s(?). 

The reason why it is abolished may be that it has nothing to do with the old scripts. It is good to abolish the strange one.

Its Pinyin is Suan4.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (286) Long - 长(長)

The shell bone script of character Long is



The middle is one line which is the head, above the line are hair, and below the line is the body of a person. The hair is Long. 

The bronze script of the character is


Similar to the shell bone script.

The big seal script of the character is


Similar to the older scripts.

The small seal script of the character is


The top is hair. But the bottom is complex. 《象形字典》(Dictionary of Pictography) explanation is that an old man with a crutch, old man has longer hair. There was no barber knife in ancient time.

The clerical script of the character is


Some similarity to the small seal script.

The song typeface for simplified character is

Almost same as the clerical script.

The simplified song typeface of the character is

Only one hair left on the top.

Its Pinyin is Chang2.

The character has another meaning: Grow, pronunciation is Zhang3.

But original meaning is Chang, and still a major meaning now.