Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (438) Thousand - 千

 The shell bone script of character Thousand is

which is a person

and one horizontal line on the leg.

What does it mean? There are many explanations. Dictionary of Pictography gives its explanation: "(The person) is keeping moving". There is another explanation:"Many many people (slaves) are tied each other".

Let's look the shell bone script of character Abreast - 并 (Post 115)

Two person walk together and keep the step withe each other. So the horizontal line means Walking.

In ancient China, people measure the land by steps because there was no measure instrument, no long ruler to measure big land. They estimate the land by how many steps in length and width. Thousand-step might be a number most used in measuring land, so it is reasonable for them to use the drawing of a person with a horizontal line, an indicative stroke, to represent Thousand steps. This is my explanation, the best one I feel. 

The bronze script of the character is

Which is similar to the shell bone script.

The big seal script of the character is

Similar to the older scripts.

The small seal script of the character is
Which is a little bit strange, but actually is a small seal of character Person 

just turns a little bit to let the person straight up, plus a horizontal line. 

The clerical script of the character is

Which is super simplified of small script of the character: the top left falling stroke is the arm of the person, the person body except the arm is now a vertical line, the indicative horizontal line is unchanged.

The song typeface of the character is

Same as the clerical script.

The Pinyin of the character is Qian1.

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