Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (443) Nine - 九

 The shell bone script of character Nine


There are many explanations. 

1, an arm with a hand of person 

2, a brooked cave or hole

3, a kind of snake or dragon.

No matter what, most people agree that it explores an unknown area by reach as far as possible.

The bronze script of the character is 


Which may the an arm, a snake or dragon, a hole, same as the shell bone script. 

To me which is like a person kneeling down, and his head and arms stretching forward, searching something.

The big seal script of the character

Similar to bronze script.

The small seal script of the character is
The left fork end is changed open asymmetric.

The clerical script of the character is


Similar to small seal script.

How could this character mean Nine later on?

Famous Chinese I Ching put 9 as the biggest number, reaching 9 is touching the end of something. Chinese believe that 9 is the highest position in nature. The end of a cave or hole is the most an explorer could reach, or the dragon is the powerful creature in the world, so the represent the biggest number 9.

I prefer to "A dragon with a fork alike head" as the original meaning of the character, which may be not right. 

The song typeface of the character is

Same as clerical script.

The Pinyin of 九 is Jiu3.

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