Sunday, December 26, 2021

Amazing Chinese Characters (465) Work - 工

 The shell bone script of character Work is


or simplified one



There is dispute what it is. Some people including Dictionary of Pictography believe that it is a multiple functions iron tool used by carpenters. More people believe that it is impossible that there were iron tools in 3500+ year ago, it should be carpenter's ink marker.


The front box is ink box with black ink inside, the back box has a wire coil, there is a hole between the two boxes, the wire goes through the hole and another hold in front of the box to get out. The wire has ink on, carpenter puts the wire on wood he works on, and makes a straight line he needs.

There is a bamboo or metal nail on the end of the wire, the carpenter hits the nail on point A on the wood, he pulls the wire coil box to point C, and lifts up the wire at point B, then looses it, the wire drops on the wood, makes and a black straight line with the ink on the wire. The carpenter can cut or saw the wood along the line. 

I agree with that the character means carpenter ink marker, which is important for carpenter work, which is important for most ancient projects.

The first character above has an ink box at the bottom and a nail on the top, which is like a carpenter ink marker. The second one is simplified, the box becomes a line.

The bronze script of the character is


The bottom is like an ax, which let many people believe that it is a metal tool. However it could be an ink box too. 

The big seal script of the character is
which is simplified ink marker on the bottom.

The small seal script of the character is

Similar to big seal script.

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

The song typeface of the character is
Same as small seal script.

The Pinyin of the character is Gong1.




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