Thursday, July 22, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (435) Four - 四

 The shell bone script of character Four is

Which is four horizontal lines, an indicative character. 

The bronze script of the character is

Different from the shell bone script. There are many explanations on the above script, the one I trust is that a very popular and important thing in ancient time is to divide the meat, the above is a meat divided into four pieces. I guess that most of time the meat was divided by four, which is easy to do. Divided by two is too big, by three is still too big, by five is difficult to do, so by four is most often. 

The above is a simplified image of division of meat. We can imagine that the inside is X, two diagonal cut the meat to 4 pieces. 

Another explanation is that the middle is character Eight - 八, which original meaning is Divide. Like the discussion above, a meat is normally divided into 4 pieces. 

The small seal script of the character is
Similar to bronze script, the inside is more like character 八.

The clerical script of the character is

Similar to older scripts.

The song typeface of the character is
The pinyin of the character is Si4.

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