Thursday, June 4, 2020

Amazing Chinese Characters (295) Pretty - 丽(麗)

The shell bone script of character Pretty is

The bottom is Deer (Post 50)

The top is deer horn antlers.

The character is a picture of deer with big antlers.


Ancient Chinese thought that the antlers are pretty, beautiful and gorgeous. The character emphasizes the beauty of antlers

The bronze script of character Pretty is

It is similar to the shell bone script.

The big seal script of the character Pretty is

The top 丽 are not similar to the antlers anymore.Why it is changed to that is unknown. But below 丽, we can see a deer.

The clerical script of the character is
The top 丽 is the antlers (even though not look like), the bottom is a deer.

The traditional song typeface of the character is

The simplified song typeface of the character is

which is just antlers. I think that the simplification is reasonable.

Its Pinyin is Li4.

I need to point out that  丽 is synonym of 美 - Beautiful (Post 240).

The shell bone script of  美 is

which is a sheep.

They are almost exchangeable, and many times people say 美丽 - put the two together to express Beautiful. However, there is a very subtle difference between the two characters: 美 is more general, including beautiful, kind, elegant, etc. 丽 is more focus on appearance: good looking, young, pretty, etc.


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