Thursday, April 8, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (363) Life Cycle or World - 世

 The bronze script of character World is

There are two explanations from different views. 

First is that it is branches and leaves (see Post 202), the strokes are branches and the dots are leaves. The leaves sprout in spring, and fall in the fall, making a life circle of the leaf. So the character means "Life cycle".

Second is that it is a foot (see Post 93), which means that you walk on foot to any where in the world. So the character means World. 

The character still has the two meanings now.

There is another meaning from famous《说文解字》- Analytical Dictionary of Characters: Thirty. Each branch is ten, so totally is Thirty. In ancient time, average life span is about thirty years. So thirty years is a life cycle of human been. But the character has no this meaning right now because there is a specific character for Thirty: 卅, which actually is similar to the character we are discussing.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to the bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to older scripts except the dots change to short lines.

The clerical script of the character is

which is obvious that the three short horizontal lines are connected to be a long horizontal line, the middle and right vertical lines are connected in the bottom, the left line keeps its independent except the curve becomes straight line.

The song typeface of the character is

Same as clerical script.

Its pinyin is Shi4. 

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