Monday, May 31, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (409) Paddy - 稻

 The shell bone script of character Paddy is

On the left, we see the rice or unthreaded rice on the top, the bottom may be a bamboo basket as a contain. The right one has a character Rice - 米 (Post 163) on the top, the basket in the bottom.

The bronze script of the character is


The left is character Rice Crop - 禾 (Post 34), the right one is character Scoop - 舀 (Post 85) with a hand on the top and basket of rice on the bottom.

The big seal script of the character is

which is similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to older script.

The clerical script of the character is

Similar to older script.

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

The Pinyin for the character is Dao4.


Amazing Chinese Characters (408) Graceful - 曼

 The shell bone script of character Graceful is


The top is a hand, the bottom is another hand, the middle is a big eye. 

The bronze script of the character is

The top is a hat, anything else is similar to the shell bone script.

It is a dancer who is dancing gracefully.


The big seal script of the character is

Similar to the bronze script. The middle is an eye.

The small seal of the character is

The hat has long drooping brim, 二 on the top is a hand, the the bottom one is another hand, the middle is an eye.

The clerical script of the character is

The top is the hat, the top is the hat, not Sun - 日, or Say - 曰. The middle is horizontal Eye - 目, the bottom 又 is a hand. The top hand is omitted.  

The traditional song typeface is

We can see that the top is not 日, the two lower horizontal lines are not touching the vertical lines. It is a hat, not sun. Anything else is similar to clerical script. The clerical script should be similar to the traditional song typeface above, but I couldn't find one, the one above is simplified clerical script.

The simplified song typeface is
The top is character Sun - 日, which is not right pictography, but you could write a little bit quicker.

Its Pinyin is Man4.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (407) Youngest - 幺

 The shell bone script of character Youngest is

Which is a tiny silk or thread, same as shell bone script of character Mysterious (Post 406).

The bronze script of the character is


Same as the shell bone script. 

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to older scripts.

The clerical script of the character is
which changed big, circles become opening triangles.

The song typeface of the character is
Similar to clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Yao1.

 幺 original means "Tiny silk or thread", changed to Youngest, which is still used in some area in China, normally the youngest child. Overall it  is not a popular character right now, however it is popular as a part of characters, such as 玄 - Mysterious (Post 406), 幻 - Fantasy (Post 343), 孙 - Grandson (Post 243). It is important to understand its meaning. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (406) Mysterious - 玄

 The shell bone script of character Mysterious is

A tiny thread, or a silk, or spider silk. It most likely is the spider silk which is hanging on a branch or beam, or floating in the air moving unpredictably.

The big seal script of the character is 

Similar to the shell bone script.

The small seal script of the character is
There is a hanger-like on the top. 

The clerical script of the character is
The top curve becomes straight line, the bottom circles become open triangles. 

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

Its Pinyin is Xuan2.



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (405) Drink (liquor) - 酌

 The bronze script of character Drink (liquor) is

The left is character Liquor Jug (Post 104), the right part is character Spoon (Post 207). Use a spoon to taste or sip a liquor in jug to decide if it is brewed well.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is
The left part is similar to the older scripts, the right part is more complicated due to the small script characteristics, lost pictography.

The clerical script of the character is
Similar to older scripts.

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

Its Pinyin is Zhuo2.

The character 酌 is specific for Drink or Pour liquor, not used in Drink - anything else. It means drinking liquor slowly. It also means "Consider" now.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (404) Surface - 表

 The big seal script of character Surface is

The top and bottom together is character Cloth - 衣 (Post 140)

Which is the bronze script of character Cloth (can't find the big seal script).

The center part is Hair - 毛 (Post 256), which shows the hair on the outer surface of fur cloth.   

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

The clerical script of the character is
Changed a lot. The bottom is character Cloth

The top we know should be the hair, which is not is the center of character Cloth anymore.

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

Its Pinyin is Biao3.

表 has more meanings right now: external, express, show, etc.


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (403) Occupy - 占

The  shell bone script of character Occupy is


 The left one has a trapezoid box which is a big piece of ox bone. The top of inside is character Divine - 卜 (Post 280), the bottom is character Mouth (Post 16). Ancient Chinese carved characters on ox bones and turtle shells, and put them on fire to burn. The wizard explained the cracks on the bone or shell to foretell the good or bad in the upcoming event, because they believed that the cracks are the prophecy from heaven or god. The shell bone script characters are from those discovered ancient ox bones and turtle shells.

So the character original meaning is to foretell good or bad.

The right one omits the bone, just the divine and mouth.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to the right one of shell bone above.

The clerical script of the character is
Similar to the small seal script.

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

Its Pinyin is Zhan4.

As time past, people didn't do divine long time ago, the character means Occupy, or Seize, which may be from occupying your mind (divine) to physical objects. Right now, the original meaning of divine is almost not exist in the character anymore.


Amazing Chinese Characters (402) Sit - 坐

 The shell bone script of character Sit is


The top is a person who is sitting on his/her heels just like Japanese do, the bottom is a mat, which shows that ancient Chinese sit on their heels.

The big seal script of the character is


The middle and bottom is character Soil - 土 (Post 223), which means the ground or Kang, a heatable brick bed. The top are two person sitting face to face.

The small seal script of the character is
Similar to the big seal script, but the two person's legs are outward like standing up, which is the typical long, symmetric, and smooth strokes of small seal script. Obviously, the creator ignored the original pictography of the character.

The clerical script of the character is
The top are two character Person - 人 (Post 37), and the character Soil is in the middle and bottom.

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

Its pinyin is Zuo4.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (401) Punishment - 刑

 The bronze script of character Punishment is

The left is an implement of punishment, the right is character Knife (Post 61). In the ancient China, there were many punishments, many are very cruelty torture. The sentenced prisoner was put into certain implement, and the executioner used knife to kill the prisoner with different way according the sentence. Sometimes, it may not kill the prisoner but cut a part of the body.

The big seal script of the character is 
The left is the implement of punishment, the right is character Knife.

Let's see another similar character Shape - 形(Post 284)

Which is similar to character Punishment above, except the right parallel three strokes which are three fingers pressing the mud on the spinning frame (the left) to make pottery. Both are frames, but punishment executioner uses the implement and knife, the pottery maker uses the spinning frame and fingers. 

The small seal script of the character is 

Similar to big seal script of Punishment above.

The clerical script of the character is
The left 开 is connected two 干s in small seal script. The right is Knife radical.

Let's compare it with the character Shape

The left is the pottery frame, which is exactly same as the implement of punishment. The right is the three fingers, which are not touching the frame any more.

The song typeface of the character is
Which is same as the clerical script.

Its pinyin is Xing2.




Thursday, May 20, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (400) Same - 同

 The shell bone script of character Same is

The top is brick model, the bottom is the fresh brick (unburnt yet). All mud go through the brick model will be the same size bricks, so the character means Same.


The bronze script of the character is

Similar to shell bone script but the size of rectangle frame doesn't match the brick square size, but we know what the ancient people want to see, not a precision machining drawing.

The small seal script of the character is
Similar to bronze script.

The clerical script of the character is
Similar to older scripts.

The song typeface of the character is
Same as the older scripts.

Its Pinyin is Tong2.

同 means Together too, at least as often as Same.




Amazing Chinese Characters (399) Compromise - 妥

 The shell bone script of character Compromise is

The top is a hand, the bottom is a woman, a man forces a woman to do something she doesn't want but have to compromise. It is similar to character Slave (Post 305)

a woman and a hand on the bottom right to catch the woman. 

The bronze script of the character is
Similar to shell bone script, but the drawing is not good.

The small seal script of the character is

The hand is over the woman now.

The clerical script of the character is

The top is a hand, the bottom is character Woman.

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

Its Pinyin is Tuo3.