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(廣)

 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(氣)

 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.