The Story of Chinese Characters

Video Lectures

Displaying all 643 video lectures.
I. 1 to 4 strokes
Lecture 1
The Story of Chinese Character : 月
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The Story of Chinese Character : 月
Aside from "The Moon", "月" also means "month". This is because in the traditional Chinese calendar, the phase of the moon used to determine the length of a month.
Lecture 2
The Story of Chinese Character : 日
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The Story of Chinese Character : 日
Aside from "The Sun", "日" also means "day". This is because China was an agricultural country, Chinese people used to work at daytime, sunrise was seen as the beginning of the work.
Lecture 3
The Story of Chinese Character : 火
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The Story of Chinese Character : 火
Fire is hot, so 火 is also used to describe anger.
Lecture 4
The Story of Chinese Character : 水
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The Story of Chinese Character : 水
Interpretation of 水
Water comes from river, so 水 is the picture of a river. In the past, 水 bore the meanings of both water and river. After 川 and 河 appeared, 水 specifically means water.
Lecture 5
The Story of Chinese Character : 心
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The Story of Chinese Character : 心
心 is the picture of heart. Ancient Chinese thought that heart was an extremely important organ, so the vocabulary which bear 心 also imply the meaning about importance. On thr other hand, heart has been being seen as an organ which dominates human mentality, 心 can be used to describe human mentality.
Lecture 6
The Story of Chinese Character : 木
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The Story of Chinese Character : 木
木 is the picture of tree, in the past it bore the meanings of both tree and lumber. After 樹 appeared, 木 means lumber only.
Lecture 7
The Story of Chinese Character : 犬
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The Story of Chinese Character : 犬
In modern Chinese language, 犬 has been replaced by another word 狗, hardly been used independently, only exists in idiom, while 犬(inu) is still being used in Japanese.
Lecture 8
The Story of Chinese Character : 毛
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The Story of Chinese Character : 毛
毛 depicts a hairy animal's tail. After 尾 appeared to represent the meaning of tail, 毛 meant 'hair' only.
Lecture 9
The Story of Chinese Character : 爪
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The Story of Chinese Character : 爪
爪 depicts a hand which is grabbing something, then 爪 only means the claw of animals especially birds, its original meaning has been replaced by 抓.
Lecture 10
The Story of Chinese Character : 手
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The Story of Chinese Character : 手
Hand is an extremely important human organ, hands used for wriitng, hands used for holding tools, we can say that civilization is created by human hands, that is why Chinese people used 手 to describe someone who is good in doing something.
Lecture 11
The Story of Chinese Character : 天
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The Story of Chinese Character : 天
天 depicts the space over a 'big' human being(大). Although human beings thought they were big, they felt humble when they looked up the sky.
Lecture 12
The Story of Chinese Character : 牛
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The Story of Chinese Character : 牛
牛 depicts the head of an ox, it has big and curved horns.
Lecture 13
The Story of Chinese Character : 中
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The Story of Chinese Character : 中
中 depicts a flag pole, and its middle was highlighted by a circle. On the other hand, when people shot an arrow, they aim at the middle of the target, so 中 also means a target got hit.
Lecture 14
The Story of Chinese Character : 夫
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夫
夫 depicts a man with a topknot and a hairpin, such hairstyle was very common among ancient Chinese males, so 夫 was used to represent male.
Lecture 15
The Story of Chinese Character :父
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The Story of Chinese Character :父
父 depicts a hand holding a piece of tool. In ancient China, male adults in a family were responsible to energy-intensive work such as farming, so 父 was used to represent the meaning of father or uncle.
Lecture 16
The Story of Chinese Character :比
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The Story of Chinese Character :比
比 depicts two men standing together, they compare with each other.
Lecture 17
The Story of Chinese Character : 从
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The Story of Chinese Character : 从
从 depicts one person(人) following to another person, means follow. 从 has the same meaning as 從.
Lecture 18
The Story of Chinese Character :牙
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The Story of Chinese Character :牙
牙 depicts several teeth which crisscross with each other.
Lecture 19
The Story of Chinese Character :井
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The Story of Chinese Character :井
井 depicts a well with side support braces.
Lecture 20
The Story of Chinese Character :爻
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The Story of Chinese Character :爻
爻 depicts four single and intersected lines specified in the Book of Changes(易經). 爻 is also one of the radicals of HanZi.
Lecture 21
The Story of Chinese Character :曰
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The Story of Chinese Character :曰
曰 depicts a mouth(口) with a stroke above it, indicates the speech is being spoken out from the mouth. However, now 曰 is hardly used to represent the meaning of speaking, we can only see 曰 in ancient writing.
Lecture 22
The Story of Chinese Character :丰
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The Story of Chinese Character :丰
丰 depicts a plant with several branches, thus developing the meaning of flourish and abundance. After the appearance of 豐, 丰 is only used in simplified Chinese.
Lecture 23
The Story of Chinese Character : 云
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The Story of Chinese Character : 云
云 depicts a cloud. Also, when somebody speaks, water vapor is released from his mouth, makes artificial 'cloud', so 云 also means speaking.
However, after the appearance of 雲,云 is seldom used to mean cloud. In simplified Chinese, there is no 雲,云 is used to represent both meanings above.
On the other hand, just for fun, a cloud is similar to the dialogue bubble in comic, that is why 云 means speaking.
Lecture 24
The Story of Chinese Character : 少
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The Story of Chinese Character : 少
少 depicts four tiny little grains, such small quantity cannot feed even one person. Both 少 and 小 share the same origin, but 少 specifically means youth(smallness in age) or less(smallness in quantity).
Lecture 25
The Story of Chinese Character : 止
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The Story of Chinese Character : 止
止 depicts the human toes. When we are walking, toes are always the most frontal parts, once our toes have touched something(for example, a wall), we know that we have reached the end of our route, so 止 bears the meaning of end or termination. However, now we use 趾 in stead of 止 to represent the meaning of toes.
Lecture 26
The Story of Chinese Character : 人
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The Story of Chinese Character : 人
The orignal form of 人is a bowing man. The biggest difference among human being and other animals, is that human being is well-behaved, he knows what "should" and "shouldn't".
Lecture 27
The Story of Chinese Character : 刀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 刀
刀 is the picture of a knife, there was no difference between knife and sword, every tool with blade could be seen as 刀, but nowadays it only means knife.
Lecture 28
The Story of Chinese Character : 川
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The Story of Chinese Character : 川
川 and 水 shares the same character in Orace Bone script, then divided into 2 different characters. However, nowadays, we use 河 to represent river instead, while 川 only exists in the name of place or idiom.
Lecture 29
The Story of Chinese Character : 山
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The Story of Chinese Character : 山
山 is the picture of 3 hills, from past till now, the meaning of 山 still remains the same.
Lecture 30
The Story of Chinese Character : 大
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The Story of Chinese Character : 大
大 depicts a man who is stretching his arms, everyone can become a great man if he has confidence.
Lecture 31
The Story of Chinese Character : 小
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The Story of Chinese Character : 小
小 is the picture of 3 grains, grains are small but can grow up to become tall and big, and feed millions. The ancient Chinese were amazed by the smallness and wonderfulness of the grains, so they used them to represent the concept of smallness.
Lecture 32
The Story of Chinese Character : 口
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The Story of Chinese Character : 口
口 is the picture of a human mouth, since mouth is the biggest natural-born entrance or exit of human being, 口 also contains the meaning of passage.
Lecture 33
The Story of Chinese Character : 子
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The Story of Chinese Character : 子
子 is the picture of a baby with a big head and small body. Everyone was a baby before, so we use 子 as another name of human being nowadays, while its original meaning has been replaced by 嬰.
Lecture 34
The Story of Chinese Character : 女
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The Story of Chinese Character : 女
女 is the picture of a woman, she lays her hands and sits solemnly, listens carefully what her husband says.
Lecture 35
The Story of Chinese Character : 土
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The Story of Chinese Character : 土
土 depicts a small hump made by human beings for the worship of land, after the meaning of land has been replaced by 地, 土 only means earth or dust.
Lecture 36
The Story of Chinese Character : 上
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The Story of Chinese Character : 上
上 depicts the horizon with a point written above it, clearly indicate something situated on the top, thus deriving the meaning of going forward.
Lecture 37
The Story of Chinese Character : 下
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The Story of Chinese Character : 下
下 depicts the horizon with a point written below it, clearly indicate something situated at the bottom, thus deriving the meaning of moving backward.
Lecture 38
The Story of Chinese Character : 卜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 卜
卜 depicts the cracke on a Oracle bone. Ancient Chinese carved some characters on the a pieces of bone or turtle plastron, then got it heated and cracked, and learned the answer to the divination from the shape of the crackle. Also, the pronunciation of 卜(Putonghua:bu3, Cantonese:buk1) is similar to the sound of cracking of tortoiseshell.
Lecture 39
The Story of Chinese Character : 刃
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The Story of Chinese Character : 刃
刃 depicts a knife, while its blade is highlighted by a circle, represents this is the sharpest part of a knife.
Lecture 40
The Story of Chinese Character : 几
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The Story of Chinese Character : 几
几 depicts a table in ancient China. Before the invention of chair, Chinese knee on the floor to eat or write, so the table was shorter at that time.
Lecture 41
The Story of Chinese Character : 弓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 弓
弓 depicts a bow without bowstring.
Lecture 42
The Story of Chinese Character :亡
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The Story of Chinese Character :亡
亡 depicts a man hiding in the corner, the corner has two walls, which is a safe hide-out, so 亡 means escape. On the other hand, escape is dangerous and will mostly lead to death, 亡 also bears the meaning of death.
Lecture 43
The Story of Chinese Character :凡
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The Story of Chinese Character :凡
凡 depicts a sail. Sail is flat and thin, so 凡 is also used to represent the meaning commonness. After the appearance of 帆, 凡 solely means commonness.
Lecture 44
The Story of Chinese Character :匕
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The Story of Chinese Character :匕
匕 depicts the profile of a man, it looks like a tool with a long handle, such tool can be a ladle, a spoon or a cane.
Lecture 45
The Story of Chinese Character : 也
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The Story of Chinese Character : 也
也 depicts a vagina, since babies come from vagina, 也 has the meaning of infinity and possibility.
Lecture 46
The Story of Chinese Character : 夕
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夕
夕 depicts a moon, since moon is the most obvious celestial body at night, 夕 means night or evening.
Both 夕 and 月 came from the same origin.
Lecture 47
The Story of Chinese Character : 工
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The Story of Chinese Character : 工
工 depicts a shovel. Shovel was the main tool which used to dig the tomb for emperors or nobles in ancient China.
Lecture 48
The Story of Chinese Character : 入
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The Story of Chinese Character : 入
入 depicts an arrow which pointing to somewhere important, so 入 means entrance or the action of entering.
Lecture 49
The Story of Chinese Character : 囗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 囗
囗 depicts the enclosure which used to prevent livestock from escaping.
囗 is one of the radicals of HanZi, but do not mix it with 口(mouth).
Lecture 50
The Story of Chinese Character : 內
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The Story of Chinese Character : 內
內 depicts a cave with an arrow(入) pointing inside.
Lecture 51
The Story of Chinese Character : 又
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The Story of Chinese Character : 又
又 depicts a right hand. Right hand is stronger than left hand, so it can be used again and again. The original meaning of 又 is then replaced by 右, 又 only means "again".
It is also notable that, the pronunciation of both 又 and 右 are the same.
Lecture 52
The Story of Chinese Character : 氏
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The Story of Chinese Character : 氏
氏 depicts someone bowing, he is granted a silk paper which has his surname written on it. In ancient China, when someone had done something good to the society, the emperor would grant him a surname in order to commend his contribution. At that time, male was the one who worked outside, so father was the owner of the surname then passed to his descendants.
On the other hand, both 姓 and 氏 mean surname, but 姓 comes from mother while 氏 comes from father, such phenomenon is caused by the different stage of society, the difference between matriarchy and patriarchy. Now there is no different between 姓 or 氏, since all of us inherit our surnames from our fathers.
Lecture 53
The Story of Chinese Character : 勺
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The Story of Chinese Character : 勺
勺 depicts a ladle with long haft.
Lecture 54
The Story of Chinese Character : 王
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The Story of Chinese Character : 王
王 depicts an axe, such axe is the symbol of the power of the emperor.
Lecture 55
The Story of Chinese Character :及
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The Story of Chinese Character :及
及 depicts a man being grabbed by a hand, thus generates the meaning of reaching something. 及 is also used as a conjunction which has the meaning of "and".
Lecture 56
The Story of Chinese Character :乙
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The Story of Chinese Character :乙
乙 depicts a seedling but its leaves still close. It is the second stage of a plant, so 乙 is used as the second of TianGan (Heavenly Stem).
Lecture 57
The Story of Chinese Character :欠
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The Story of Chinese Character :欠
欠 depicts a yawning man. Air will be blown out when someone yawns, his body will lose some air, so 欠 has the meaning of lack. On the other hand, 欠 also means the action of bowing since a person needs to blow out som air if he wants to bow. In the past, 欠 also meant the action of blowing, but such meaning had been replaced by 吹.
Lecture 58
The Story of Chinese Character :之
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The Story of Chinese Character :之
之 depicts a foot pointing upward. Both 之 and 止 come from the same origin, their shape and pronunciation are similar. In the past, 之 meant 'this' or 'going to somewhere'. Now 之 is mostly used as an article like 的.
Lecture 59
The Story of Chinese Character :斤
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The Story of Chinese Character :斤
斤 depicts an axe. In ancient China, an axe was also used as a weight put on the balance, and it weighed one catty, so 斤 also meant an unit of weight.
The original meaning of 斤 has been replaced by 斧, now 斤 solely means catty, but 斤 still retains its original meaning when it is used as an component of the other HanZi like 析.
Lecture 60
The Story of Chinese Character :勾
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The Story of Chinese Character :勾
「勾」字是兩個勾互相扣住的情形。在過去,「勾」字可作動詞及名詞使用,但如今一本以「勾」字動詞使用,名詞則用「鈎」。
Lecture 61
The Story of Chinese Character :丁
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The Story of Chinese Character :丁
丁 depicts the thick stem of a plant, which can also be used as a nail or wedge, so 丁 also means nail. However, the meaning of nail is then replaced by 釘, now 丁 is only used to describe a strong man. On the other hand, 丁 is also used as the forth of TianGan since 丁 is the forth stage of the plant's growth.
On the other, since a nail is small, 丁 is also used to describe something small.
Lecture 62
The Story of Chinese Character :戈
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The Story of Chinese Character :戈
「戈」是一件在古代中國常用的兵器的象形。「戈」字是漢字的部首之一。
Lecture 63
The Story of Chinese Character :丑
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The Story of Chinese Character :丑
丑 depicts three thinner threads twist and combine into a thicker thread, the original meanings of 丑 is core or the act of twisting, but such two meanings has been replaced by 紐 and 扭 respectively, now 丑 solely means the second of DiZi. It is because twisted thread is the raw material of weaving cloth, clothes are one of the basic needs of human beings.
On the other hand, since 丑 shares the same pronunciation with 醜, we usually use 丑 as 醜。
Lecture 64
The Story of Chinese Character :午
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The Story of Chinese Character :午
午 depicts long pestle for grinding rice, but such meaning has been replaced by 杵. A pestle is standing upright pestle when it is used for pounding grain with the mortar, so 午 means middle and is usually used to describe time or direction.
On the other hand, after harvest, peole will refine the grain by pestle in order to make food, so 午 is used as the seventh of DiZi after 巳(pray right after harvest).
Lecture 65
The Story of Chinese Character :六
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The Story of Chinese Character :六
六 depicts a house with a chimney on its top. A human hand has five fingers, so the number of five is a number with the meaning of 'completeness', six is the number next to five, which is one larger than 'completeness', like a house with a chimney, which is an extra part of a house, represent the number of one.
Lecture 66
The Story of Chinese Character :七
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The Story of Chinese Character :七
七 depicts a cross which represent the center of the world. From the knowledge of ancient Chinese, this world was formed by seven bearing, such seven bearings were east, south, west, north, upside, underside and the last bearing was center, so a cross was used to represent the concept of center, since it is the seventh bearing, ancient Chinese also used such symbol to describe the number of seven..
Ancient Chinese respected nature, and also thought that human being was the center of the world, so they placed human being or the bearing of center at last, i.e. the seventh. It can be exemplified by the tradition of Renri(人日), since Renri, literally human day, refers specially to the seventh day of the first month in the Chinese Lunar calendar.
Lecture 67
The Story of Chinese Character :八
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The Story of Chinese Character :八
八 depicts a broken stick, which bears the meaning of dividing something. Eight can be divided equally into four, then be divided equally into two. Since eight can be divided equally twice, it is a dividable number, so a broken stick is used as a symbol to describe the number of eight.
Lecture 68
The Story of Chinese Character :九
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The Story of Chinese Character :九
九 is composed of a cross with a curve attached, a cross is an end or destination while the curve attached represent the winding route to such destination. The original meaning of 九was 'to come to an end' , but such meaning was then replaced by究, now 九 solely means the number of nine. Ten is the number after nine, ten is the largest number which can be counted by human hands, it is the 'end', so nine is the number which is coming to this 'end'.
Lecture 69
The Story of Chinese Character :十
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The Story of Chinese Character :十
十 depict a rope with a knot on it, ancient Chinese used such symbol to represent the number of ten, since the number of ten is the largest number which human being can count by his both hands, it is a natural arithemtical unit, also, in the concept of ancient Chinese, a knot in a rope(繩結) means an end of a rope, so a knot in a rope is used to represent the number of ten.
On the other hand, 廿(twenty), 卅(thirty) and 卌(forty) depicts two, three and four knots in a rope respectively.
Lecture 70
The Story of Chinese Character :厶
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The Story of Chinese Character :厶
厶 depicts a noose. Ancient Chinese used a noose to circle their property such as crops and captured animals, in order to show the other people that those were someone's own private stuffs, so厶 meant private property. Now we seldom use 厶, but use私 instead.
Lecture 71
The Story of Chinese Character :公
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The Story of Chinese Character :公
公is composed of八(the picture of a broken stick) and厶(a noose). A broken stick has the meaning of allocation, while a noose means private property, when 八and厶 join together, it generates the meaning of 'something which is publicly owned'.
Lecture 72
The Story of Chinese Character :友
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The Story of Chinese Character :友
友 depicts one hand holding with another hand(又), when we are friends, we will hold each other's hand to show our familiarity.
Lecture 73
The Story of Chinese Character :千
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The Story of Chinese Character :千
千, base on the deduction of the meanings of 芊(lush, green), 扦(a short slender pointed object) and 臿(to insert), is the picture of a man transplanting rice seedlings on the field, such meaning has been replaced by 插. There are many many rice seedlings on the field, so 千 generates the meaning of 'thousand'.
Lecture 74
The Story of Chinese Character :寸
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The Story of Chinese Character :寸
寸 depict a hand with a stroke pointing at its ChuenKou(寸口). In the theory of Chinese Medical science, ChuenKou is the point of pulse on the wrist which the Chinese physician press
on for diagnosis, such point of pulse situates one inch under the palm.
寸 has the meaning of 'speculation', since Chinese physician can know the state of illness by pressing on ChuenKou, but such meaning has been replaced by 忖, now 寸 solely means 'inch'.
On the other hand, same as 又, when 寸 is used as a component in another HanZi, it means 'hand' , for example, 尃.
Lecture 75
The Story of Chinese Character :仁
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The Story of Chinese Character :仁
仁 is composed of the BuShou of 人(human being)and 二(two). 二 here can be extend to the meaning of sharing and sympathy, such virtue will be granted naturally when two people stay together.
According to Confucianism, 仁 is the most basic humanity.
Lecture 76
The Story of Chinese Character :干
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The Story of Chinese Character :干
干 depicts a pestle. Pestle is used for churning, so 干 has the meaning of disturbing. Ancient Chinese used pestle as a weapon, so 干 also means resistance, but such meaning has been replaced by 扞.
Lecture 77
The Story of Chinese Character :分
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The Story of Chinese Character :分
分 is composed of 八(eight, the picture of a divided stick) and 刀(knife). 八 has the meaning of division, knife can cut, so 分 depicts a stick cut by a knife.
Lecture 78
The Story of Chinese Character :不
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The Story of Chinese Character :不
不 depicts an upside-down triangle with three lines underneath. The triangle is the symbol of vagina while the three lines represents the blood from menstruation. During menstruation, women can barely work, so 不 has the meaning of negativity.
Lecture 79
The Story of Chinese Character :攴
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The Story of Chinese Character :攴
攴 is composed of又(the picture of right hand) and卜(the picture of a stick or tool here, but has no relation with the meaning of卜), depicts a hand holding a stick or tool.  is no longer an independent HanZi, it only exists as a BusShou or affix of the other HanZis such as敲 and 敊.
攴 shares the same pronunciation and meaning as and 扑.
Lecture 80
The Story of Chinese Character :攵
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The Story of Chinese Character :攵
攵 depicts a hand holding a stick or tool, it is the variant of攴. 攴* is no longer an independent HanZi, it only exists as a BusShou or affix of the other HanZis such as牧and收.
攵 shares the same pronunciation and meaning as攴 and 扑.
Lecture 81
The Story of Chinese Character :夭
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The Story of Chinese Character :夭
夭 is the picture of a laughing man dancing with joy. Youths are energetic, when they are happy, they cannot help laughing and dancing with joy, so夭 has the meaning of youth and happiness, but such meaning has been replaced by妖 and笑.
夭 is used to describe the flourish of plants, in Book of Songs(詩經), it has '桃之夭夭(How flourish the peach blossoms are)', but such meaning has been replaced by沃.
On the other hand, both youth and happiness gone fast, 夭 is also used to describe someone dies young, although殀 has been made, nowadays people still like to use夭 to represent such meaning.
Lecture 82
The Story of Chinese Character : 爿
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The Story of Chinese Character : 爿
爿 depicts a tree trunk which is cut in half, which is symmetrical to 片. After cut, the cut tree trunk has a flat surface, so the original meaning of 爿 is a wooden plank, but such meaning has been replaced by 版.On the other hand, a flat surface can allow someone or something to lie down, so 爿 also means bed or table, but such meaning has been replaced by 牀.
Lecture 83
The Story of Chinese Character : 片
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The Story of Chinese Character : 片
片 depicts a tree trunk which is cut in half, which is symmetrical to 爿. After cut, the cut tree trunk has a flat surface, so the original meaning of片is a wooden plank, but then it is used to describe something thin and flat.
Lecture 84
The Story of Chinese Character : 丌
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The Story of Chinese Character : 丌
丌 is the picture of a table. 丌 shares the same meaning and pronunciation with 几, they are variants of each other.
Lecture 85
The Story of Chinese Character : 廿
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The Story of Chinese Character : 廿
廿 is composed of two 十, represents the number of twenty.
Lecture 86
The Story of Chinese Character : 卅
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The Story of Chinese Character : 卅
卅 is composed of three 十, represents the number of thirty.
Lecture 87
The Story of Chinese Character : 彳
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The Story of Chinese Character : 彳
彳 is the left side of行, means left step.
Lecture 88
The Story of Chinese Character : 亍
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The Story of Chinese Character : 亍
亍is the right side of行, means right step.
Lecture 89
The Story of Chinese Character : 匚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 匚
匚 depicts a square-shaped container.
Lecture 90
The Story of Chinese Character : 冖
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The Story of Chinese Character : 冖
冖 is the picture of a cover, means covering something, such meaning has been replaced by 冪, now 冖 is only used as BuShou.
Lecture 91
The Story of Chinese Character : 宀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 宀
宀is the picture of an ancient house, such house is formed by two linked planks, now 宀 is only used as BuShou.
Lecture 92
The Story of Chinese Character : 气
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The Story of Chinese Character : 气
气 depicts several layers of cloud, cloud is formed by water vapour.
Lecture 93
The Story of Chinese Character : 乞
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The Story of Chinese Character : 乞
乞 comes from气(gas, air) but one stroke less. 气 with one stroke less, means lack of air, air is the necessity of man, he will beg for it if lacks. On the other hand, a man without air means a man without breath, a man is dead if he does not breath, so 乞 also has the meaning of termination, but such meaning has been replaced by 迄 and 訖.
Lecture 94
The Story of Chinese Character :亼
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The Story of Chinese Character :亼
亼 depicts a triangle, it can be seen as an inverted funnel, its shape also looks like piling up something scattered, so 亼 has the meaning of gathering or assembling something.
Lecture 95
The Story of Chinese Character :巾
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The Story of Chinese Character :巾
巾 depicts the decorative clothes, such clothes will be worn in sacrificial rite or ceremony in ancient China, it shares the same origin with 市.
Lecture 96
The Story of Chinese Character :己
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The Story of Chinese Character :己
己 is the picture of a crooked and coiled rope. 己 has the meaning of restraint and discipline, but such meaning has been replaced by 紀. Now 己 means oneself solely, since self is the only one who can restrain himself.
Lecture 97
The Story of Chinese Character :五
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The Story of Chinese Character :五
五is a picture which has two horizontal lines with a cross in-between. Human being has five fingers in one hand, five is the largest number which can be counted by one human hand, so five dots which represent five fingers, are connected by lines.
In addition, such picture is used to represent 五, is to avoid being confused with 十, 乂 and 囟.
Lecture 98
The Story of Chinese Character : 力
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The Story of Chinese Character : 力
力 depicts a bending arm, which is more powerful than a stretched one.
Lecture 99
The Story of Chinese Character : 氏
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The Story of Chinese Character : 氏
氏 depicts a bowing man holding a frame, the frame means enclosing a piece of land, implies someone obtaining a piece of land. In ancient China, vassal will get another surname after a piece of land is granted to him, such surname is 氏, usually named under the name of a country, a place or an official position.
On the other hand, both 姓 and 氏 mean surname, but 姓 comes from mother while 氏 comes from father, such phenomenon is caused by the different stage of society, the difference between matriarchy and patriarchy. Now there is no different between 姓 or 氏, since all of us inherit our surnames from our fathers.
Lecture 100
The Story of Chinese Character : 二
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The Story of Chinese Character : 二
二 is composed of two horizontal lines. Same as the number of one and three, ancient Chinese used horizontal lines in the same number to describe this number.
Lecture 101
The Story of Chinese Character : 三
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The Story of Chinese Character : 三
三 is composed of three horizontal lines. Same as the number of one and two, ancient Chinese used horizontal lines in the same number to describe this number.
Lecture 102
The Story of Chinese Character : 太
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The Story of Chinese Character : 太
太 is the variant of 大(big), both have the same meaning.
Lecture 103
The Story of Chinese Character : 介
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The Story of Chinese Character : 介
介 depicts a man standing between two walls, which has the meaning of ‘between’.
Lecture 104
The Story of Chinese Character : 支
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The Story of Chinese Character : 支
支 depicts a hand holding a branch, its original meaning is branch, but such meaning has been replaced by 枝, 支 means support or division.
II. 5 to 8 strokes
Lecture 105
The Story of Chinese Character : 乃
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The Story of Chinese Character : 乃
乃 is the picture of a rope. Ropes can tie and connect with each other, so 乃 can be used as a conjunction in a sentence, means ‘to be’, ‘thus’ or ‘then’ etc.
Lecture 106
The Story of Chinese Character : 引
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The Story of Chinese Character : 引
弓 is composed of 弓(bow) and one stroke. A stroke behind a bow represents it is being dragged, the original meaning of 引 is dragging a bow, also means pulling and leading.
Lecture 107
The Story of Chinese Character : 仍
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The Story of Chinese Character : 仍
仍 is composed of the BuShou of 人(man) and 乃(to be). 乃 can be seen as simplified version of 夃, depicts someone pulling a rope, which has the meaning of ‘following’ or ‘carrying on as before’, ancient Chinese also like ‘following’ or ‘carrying on as before’.
Lecture 108
The Story of Chinese Character :車
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The Story of Chinese Character :車
車 depicts an ancient Chinese chariot, at that time, chariot was the most common and fastest vehicle in China, so 車 represents all kinds of vehicle on land.
Lecture 109
The Story of Chinese Character :束
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The Story of Chinese Character :束
束 depicts a package which its two end was tied by ropes. On the other hand, please be noted that 束 and 東(mean east) came from the same origin.
Lecture 110
The Story of Chinese Character :豆
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The Story of Chinese Character :豆
豆 depicts a container with a tall and thin stand which was used for holding beans or steamed rice. However, now 豆 means beans only and has lost its original meaning.
Lecture 111
The Story of Chinese Character :囧
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The Story of Chinese Character :囧
囧 depicts the exit of a cave which is extremely bright. 囧 means light or bright but now we use 炯 to represent such meaning instead. On the other hand, 囧 is quite popular in Mainland China, it is used to describe a scowling person because of its shape.
Lecture 112
The Story of Chinese Character :冏
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The Story of Chinese Character :冏
冏 depicts the exit of a cave which is extremely bright. 冏 means light or bright but now we use 炯 to represent such meaning instead. 冏 is the synonym with 囧.
Lecture 113
The Story of Chinese Character :貝
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The Story of Chinese Character :貝
貝 depicts an opened clam. 貝 is one of the most commonly used radicals of HanZi. Before the widely application of metal, ancient Chinese used shell as currency, so the HanZi with the radical of 貝 usually bears the meaning of money.
Lecture 114
The Story of Chinese Character :串
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The Story of Chinese Character :串
串 depicts two objects strung together with a pole, which comes the meaning of connection.
Lecture 115
The Story of Chinese Character :身
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The Story of Chinese Character :身
身 depicts a whole human profile, emphasizes the human body.
Lecture 116
The Story of Chinese Character :囪
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The Story of Chinese Character :囪
囪 depicts a window with window-railings, besides the meaning of window, 囪 also derives the meaning of hole. However, now we seldom use 囪 to represent the meaning of window and use 窗 instead.
Lecture 117
The Story of Chinese Character :卵
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The Story of Chinese Character :卵
卵 depicts the eggs of frogs.
Lecture 118
The Story of Chinese Character : 足
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The Story of Chinese Character : 足
足 depicts a lower limb of human being, including thigh, crus and foot. Unlike 手, 足 depicts the whole lower limb, so 足 also bears the meaning of completeness and satisfaction.
Lecture 119
The Story of Chinese Character : 走
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The Story of Chinese Character : 走
走 depicts a running man in its upper part, the lower part of 走 is 止(toe), which emphasizes the quickness of his runs.
Lecture 120
The Story of Chinese Character : 坐
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The Story of Chinese Character : 坐
坐 depicts two men(人) sitting on a mound(土).
Lecture 121
The Story of Chinese Character : 孝
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The Story of Chinese Character : 孝
孝 depicts an old man with long hair leaning against a young man(子), thus producing the meaning of respect to the elders.
Lecture 122
The Story of Chinese Character : 見
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The Story of Chinese Character : 見
見 depicts 目(an eye) with two legs, when someone stands up, he can see further.
Lecture 123
The Story of Chinese Character : 体
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The Story of Chinese Character : 体
体 is composed by 人(a man) and 本(the root)human body is the base of a human being while it is the junction of head and limbs. 体 is the variant of 體, both of them share the same meaning and pronunciation.
Lecture 124
The Story of Chinese Character : 田
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The Story of Chinese Character : 田
田 is the picture of a farmland, the dikes around and between it are also drawn.
Lecture 125
The Story of Chinese Character : 金
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The Story of Chinese Character : 金
金 depicts the process of forging an axe. In ancient China, 金 can represent all kinds of metals, as people understood more, they started to categorise metals and created new characters such as 銅, 鐵 and 銀, 金 then only means gold which is the most expensive metal, and also means money.
Lecture 126
The Story of Chinese Character : 目
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The Story of Chinese Character : 目
目 is the picture of an eye, but after 眼 has appeared, 目 only exists in vocabulary and idioms, and is seldom used alone. On the other hand, since the ancient hunters used their eyes to aim before they cast the spears, 目 also has the meaning of aiming.
Lecture 127
The Story of Chinese Character : 自
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The Story of Chinese Character : 自
Long time ago, 自 was the picture of a human nose, however, people always like to point at their nose when they introduce themselves, so 自 gradually means 'the self', then derives the meaning of 'independence'. The original meaning of 'nose' was replaced by 鼻.
Lecture 128
The Story of Chinese Character : 門
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The Story of Chinese Character : 門
門 is the picture of a door, since door is the entrance of a house, 門 also bears the meanings of start and family.
Lecture 129
The Story of Chinese Character : 明
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The Story of Chinese Character : 明
日 is the sun, while 月 is the moon, both of them are natural luminaries of earth, they join together and become 明 which means brightness.
Lecture 130
The Story of Chinese Character : 林
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The Story of Chinese Character : 林
林 is made of two 木, two trees become a forest, simple and easy to be understood.
Lecture 131
The Story of Chinese Character : 卡
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The Story of Chinese Character : 卡
卡 was formed by 上 and 下, represents something get stuck in between, also derives the meaning of stop. On the other hand, since the pronunciation of 卡 is similar to English word 'card', 卡 also means card.
Lecture 132
The Story of Chinese Character : 休
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The Story of Chinese Character : 休
休 depicts a man (人) standing next to a tree (木), represents that he is resting under the tree. When someone rests, he needs to stop all his motion, so 休 also has the meaning of stop.
Lecture 133
The Story of Chinese Character : 竹
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The Story of Chinese Character : 竹
竹 is the picture of bamboo branches.
Lecture 134
The Story of Chinese Character : 本
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The Story of Chinese Character : 本
本 depicts a tree(木) which its lower part is thickened, indicate that it is the root of a tree.
Lecture 135
The Story of Chinese Character : 羊
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The Story of Chinese Character : 羊
羊 depicts the head of a goat. Goat has horns, such feature makes it easy to be distinguished from the other hornless animals like horse or dog, so this character only shows its head.
Lecture 136
The Story of Chinese Character : 衣
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The Story of Chinese Character : 衣
衣 depicts an ancient Chinese gown, such gown is simplified into few lines which represent the collar, its overlapping parts and the sleeves.
Lecture 137
The Story of Chinese Character : 隹
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The Story of Chinese Character : 隹
隹 depicts a bird with short tail, generally, both 隹 and 鳥 share the the same meaning and origin of character, but 隹 is seldom used nowadays, and becomes a component of other Chinese characters such as 集,雀 or 雞 .
Lecture 138
The Story of Chinese Character : 災
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The Story of Chinese Character : 災
災 composes of a river (川) and fire (火), while the river means water. Flood and fire were the main disasters in the past.
Lecture 139
The Story of Chinese Character : 羽
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The Story of Chinese Character : 羽
羽 depicts two pieces of feather.
Lecture 140
The Story of Chinese Character : 糸
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The Story of Chinese Character : 糸
糸depicts a silk's reel, 糸 is hardly used independently, it is usually used as a component of other words.
Lecture 141
The Story of Chinese Character : 炎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 炎
炎 composes of two fire (火), derives the meaning of big fire. Since ancient Chinese thought that human disease were caused by the wicked fire inside the human body, 炎 also means inflammation.
Lecture 142
The Story of Chinese Character : 旦
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The Story of Chinese Character : 旦
旦 depicts the sun which just rose above the horizon, derives the meaning of dawn or morning, and also means day.
Lecture 143
The Story of Chinese Character : 冊
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The Story of Chinese Character : 冊
冊 depicts an ancient form of a book, such book is formed by several bamboo sheets which are tied with a string.
Lecture 144
The Story of Chinese Character : 皿
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The Story of Chinese Character : 皿
皿 depicts a container with a big flat bottom which is allowed to stand steadily.
Lecture 145
The Story of Chinese Character : 血
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The Story of Chinese Character : 血
血 depicts a container(皿) with a drop of blood. In ancient China, people used to drink blood as a sign of oath in order to emphasize the solemnity of the oath.
Lecture 146
The Story of Chinese Character :艸
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The Story of Chinese Character :艸
艸 depicts two grasses. Nowadays, we use 草 to represent the meaning of grass, 艸 is hardly used. 艸 is one of the radicals in HanZi.
However, in simplified Chinese, 艸 is still used, since there is no 草 in simplified Chinese.
Lecture 147
The Story of Chinese Character :虫
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The Story of Chinese Character :虫
虫 depicts a snake, but then we use 蛇 to show the meaning of snake. At present, 虫 is used to represent insect or worm only.
Lecture 148
The Story of Chinese Character :禾
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The Story of Chinese Character :禾
禾 depicts a piece of ripe paddy with a ear of grain on the top of it. 禾 is one of the radicals in HanZi.
Lecture 149
The Story of Chinese Character :母
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The Story of Chinese Character :母
母 depicts a woman with big breasts , while big breasts is the feature of a mother since she needs to breast-feed her baby. Besides human beings母 is also used to represent the other kinds of female animals.
Lecture 150
The Story of Chinese Character :東
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The Story of Chinese Character :東
東 depicts a package of a traveler. Since there is no electricity in ancient China, with a view to fully utilizing the natural light, people traveled in the early morning when the sun had just risen from the east, so the picture of a package is used to represent the meaning of the direction of east. 東 also has the meaning of host because of the significance of the sun. On the other hand, please be noted that 東 and 束(mean bind or bunch) came from the same origin.
Lecture 151
The Story of Chinese Character :西
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The Story of Chinese Character :西
西 depicts a bird's nest. When the sun sets, the birds go back to their nest, so 西 is used to represent the direction of sunset, west.
Lecture 152
The Story of Chinese Character : 州
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The Story of Chinese Character : 州
州 depicts a river with an islet in the middle, thus derives the meaning of land. In ancient China, 州 was used to mean state or province.
Lecture 153
The Story of Chinese Character : 昔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 昔
昔 is the picture of flood. Long long time ago, there was a horrible flood in the world which caused great pain on all mankind, so when the people talked about the past, they only thought of flood and used 昔 to mean the past. From this, the legend of Fuxi and Nuhuo (both of them are the ancestors of China) was more than a myth, it also contained some components of history.
Lecture 154
The Story of Chinese Character :北
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The Story of Chinese Character :北
北 depicts two people standing back to back, the original meaning of 北 is the back of human body. Since the wind blown from the north is strong and freezing which can hardly be faced, people always face their backs against the north, then the meaning of human back has been replaced by 背, 北 solely means north.
Lecture 155
The Story of Chinese Character :示
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The Story of Chinese Character :示
示 depicts an altar-liked container which used for placing sacrifice, but after 示 has evolved to the meaning of demonstration and manifestation, its original meaning disappeared.
Lecture 156
The Story of Chinese Character :众
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The Story of Chinese Character :众
众 depicts three people(人) standing together, means a large amount of people. 众 has the same meaning as 眾。
Lecture 157
The Story of Chinese Character :生
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The Story of Chinese Character :生
生 depicts a pinch of grass. Since grass is very strong and grows quickly, it is used to represent the mightiness of life.
Lecture 158
The Story of Chinese Character :丼
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The Story of Chinese Character :丼
丼 depicts a well which is surrounded by railings with an object inside it. Both 丼 and 井 came from the same origin and shared the same meaning in the past. However, now we seldom use 丼 to describe a well, 丼 is used as a onomatopoeia which imitates the sound of something drops in the water (丼 also pronounces dan3 in Putonghua or dam2 in Cantonese).
On the other hand, in Japanese, 丼 is used to describe a bowl since the shape of 丼 looked similar to the ancient Japanese lunchbox, and the pronunciation of 丼in Japanese, which is donburi, partially preserves the ancient pronunciation of this HanZi.
Lecture 159
The Story of Chinese Character :長
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The Story of Chinese Character :長
長 depicts a man with very long hair. In addition, when a child grows up, his body will become longer, so 身 also means growth.
Lecture 160
The Story of Chinese Character :舌
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The Story of Chinese Character :舌
舌 depicts a tongue coming out from a mouth(口). The tongue is a crotched snake's tongue since it is the most easily recognizable tongue among all kinds of animal in the world.
Lecture 161
The Story of Chinese Character :立
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The Story of Chinese Character :立
立 depicts a man standing on the ground steadily, with confidence, thus develops the meaning of affirmation and sharpness(time).
Lecture 162
The Story of Chinese Character : 果
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The Story of Chinese Character : 果
果 is the picture of a fruit tree. China is an agricultural society, the harvest of fruits can be seen as the result of hard work, that's why 果 also contains the meaning of result and effect.
Lecture 163
The Story of Chinese Character : 行
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The Story of Chinese Character : 行
行 depicts the intersection of two roads, the original meaning of 行 is the row, and we can also use 行 to describe some industries which are strictly regulated, when 行 is used to represent the above two meanings, its pronunciation in Putunghua is hang2.
On the other hand, 行 is also used to mean walking, in this case, 行 pronounces xing2).
Lecture 164
The Story of Chinese Character : 昌
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The Story of Chinese Character : 昌
昌 depicts someone speaking(曰) under the sun(日). When the society is prosperous, people lived happily and dare to speak or sing openly(under the sun or at the daytime). After the appearance of 唱, 昌 solely means prosperity.
Lecture 165
The Story of Chinese Character : 白
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The Story of Chinese Character : 白
白 depicts a widely opened mouth which its teeth are clearly shown, while healthy teeth are white in color. On the other hand, 白 also means speaking in formal writing.
Lecture 166
The Story of Chinese Character : 舟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 舟
舟 depicts a small boat, 舟 is also one of the radicals of HanZi.
Lecture 167
The Story of Chinese Character : 考
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The Story of Chinese Character : 考
考 shares the same origin with 老, also depicts an old man with long hair leaning against a cane. Elder are very careful on every step, so 考 bears the meaning of examination and checking.
Lecture 168
The Story of Chinese Character : 老
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The Story of Chinese Character : 老
老 depicts an old man with long hair leaning against a cane(匕).
Lecture 169
The Story of Chinese Character : 采
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The Story of Chinese Character : 采
采 depicts a hand grabbing (爪) a plant(木). However, in traditional Chinese, 採 is used instead of 采 to represent the meaning of picking up something.
On the other hand, when picking flowers, we only choose the most colorful one, so 采also means color, but now we usually use 彩 instead, and 采 is only used to describe something abstract such as human nature.
Lecture 170
The Story of Chinese Character : 好
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The Story of Chinese Character : 好
好 depicts a woman(女) staying with her baby(子). In Chinese tradition, it was good for a woman when she had a bady, it was also good for a baby when it stayed with its mother.
Lecture 171
The Story of Chinese Character : 地
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The Story of Chinese Character : 地
地 is composed of 土(earth) and 也(vagina). Land is agglomerated by earth. On the other hand, land also gives birth to various lives and functions like vagina, this is why ancient Chinese always used mother or female to describe the land.
Lecture 172
The Story of Chinese Character : 耳
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The Story of Chinese Character : 耳
耳 is the picture of a ear, from past til now, 耳 only has such meaning.
Lecture 173
The Story of Chinese Character : 肌
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The Story of Chinese Character : 肌
肌 composes of two components. Since muscle is a kind of flesh, 肌 has 肉(simplified) as its radical to state the nature of 肌. On the other hand, the most powerful muscle of our body is biceps, the shape of bicep looks like an ancient Chinese table, so 几 is used as as the phonetic component of 肌, both 肌 and 几 share the same pronunciation.
Lecture 174
The Story of Chinese Character : 甘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 甘
甘 depicts a mouth with a candy staying inside. When we have eaten something sweet inside, we like to keep them in the mouths.
Lecture 175
The Story of Chinese Character : 瓜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 瓜
瓜 depicts a hanging fruit with vines attached.
Lecture 176
The Story of Chinese Character : 亦
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The Story of Chinese Character : 亦
亦 depicts a man stretching his body(大) with two lines pointing at his armpits. In the past, 亦 meant armpit but Such meaning was then replaced by 腋. At present, 亦 means "also" since both left and right armpits are the same.
Lecture 177
The Story of Chinese Character : 角
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The Story of Chinese Character : 角
角 depicts a horn of an animal.
Lecture 178
The Story of Chinese Character : 酉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 酉
酉 depicts a container which used to hold liquid such as wine, and this was the original meaning of 酉. For some complicated and unknown reason, now 酉 means the tenth of Earthly Branches(地支), which is an old Chinese system for reckoning time.
酉 is one of the radicals of HanZi.
Lecture 179
The Story of Chinese Character : 夜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夜
夜 depicts a man stretching his body, the moon is on the right while a line pointing at his armpits is on the left. This "man" can also be seen as the god of night.
The moon is the most obvious celestial body at night. The areas beneath the armpits are sunless thus dark and so is the night.
Lecture 180
The Story of Chinese Character : 伯
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The Story of Chinese Character : 伯
伯 is composed of 人(a man) and 白(white), signifies an old man with white hair, so 伯 means elder.
Lecture 181
The Story of Chinese Character : 出
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The Story of Chinese Character : 出
出 depicts a foot coming out from an enclosure.
Lecture 182
The Story of Chinese Character : 左
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The Story of Chinese Character : 左
左 depicts a hand with 工(a tool) next to it. Ancient Chinese thought that right hand is more important among two hands since it was stronger and more agile, while left hand was less important and was seen as an assistant of the right hand. Tool is an assistant of human beings so 工 is added to represent it is our left hand or the left.
On the other hand, 左 also meant assistance or aid, but such meaning was then replaced by 佐.
Lecture 183
The Story of Chinese Character : 右
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The Story of Chinese Character : 右
右 depicts a hand with 口(a mouth) next to it. Since right hand is stronger and more agile among two hands , we use it to do most of our works while the production of food is the most important, so 囗 is added to represent it is our right hand or the right.
On the other hand, 又 is the origin of 右. In the past, 又 meant right hand, but after 右 had been invented, 又 solely meant also. Now 右 and 又 share the same pronunciation, it can be seen as an evidence of such evolution.
Lecture 184
The Story of Chinese Character : 氐
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The Story of Chinese Character : 氐
氐 depicts a bowing man, he bows so low that his hands almost touch the ground. In the past, 氐 meant bottom or used to describe something low, but now those two meanings have been replaced by 底 and 低, 氐 solely means a western tribe in ancient China.
Lecture 185
The Story of Chinese Character : 低
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The Story of Chinese Character : 低
低 is composed of 人(a man) and 氐(a bowing man who touches the ground). In the past, 氐 was used to describe someone servile, but now 氐 can be applied on everything which is low and short.
Lecture 186
The Story of Chinese Character : 底
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The Story of Chinese Character : 底
「底」depicts a bowing man who touches the ground(氐) in a house. The meaning and pronunciation of 底 and 低 is similar, but 底 is only applied on object which is at the lowest level.
Lecture 187
The Story of Chinese Character : 肉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 肉
肉 depicts a piece of rib, meat between the ribs is the most delicious.
Lecture 188
The Story of Chinese Character : 玉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 玉
玉 depicts a string of jade pendants. After symbolization, 玉 looks the same as 王, so a dot is added to distinguish 玉 from 王, but when 玉 acts as an radical, the dot is omitted.
Lecture 189
The Story of Chinese Character : 受
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The Story of Chinese Character : 受
受 depicts a hand(又) giving a boat to another hand(爪). Boat is a vessel which can hold many many things, so it is used to represent something valuable. The shape of a boat in 受 was clear before, but now it has been simplified to two strokes. In the past, 受 meant the act of both giving and receiving, but then the act of giving had been replaced by 授. Now 受 solely means the act of receiving.
Lecture 190
The Story of Chinese Character :四
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The Story of Chinese Character :四
四 was composed of four horizontal in the past, but then changed to囗(means enclosure) with八(means the number of eight, but it was the picture of a broken stick, which had the meaning of division) inside. A rectangular enclosure has four sides with different aspects, which represents the four main compass points. In addition, four is also the first composite number, it is dividable by two.
Lecture 191
The Story of Chinese Character :安
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The Story of Chinese Character :安
安 depicts a woman(女) staying inside a house. A woman feels safe when she was covered by her own house, or we can say that, a husband will feel secure when his wife is staying at home and taking care of their family.
Lecture 192
The Story of Chinese Character :字
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The Story of Chinese Character :字
「字」字是一個小孩子(「子」字)在屋內的象形,表示小孩子受到保護,故「字」字的本意為愛但此解後被其他字所替。在古代中國,百姓會為自己的孩子取別名,藉以令孩子免受惡鬼所害,此別名就是「字」,後來「字」演變成孩子成年後的別名。
另外,我們最初學寫字時,首學的往往是我們的名字,故「字」字亦有文字之意。
Lecture 193
The Story of Chinese Character :的
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The Story of Chinese Character :的
的 depicts a bow and an arrow, and the arrowhead is aiming at a target. Now the picture of bow and arrow has been symbolized to 勺, while the target has became 白, the original shape of 的 has lost, it is so ridiculous that some academics still use such two characters to explain 的. Nevertheless, now 的 still retains its original meaning, means target.
Since the meaning of 的 implies 'going to somewhere', 的 is also used as article, like 之.
Lecture 194
The Story of Chinese Character :穴
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The Story of Chinese Character :穴
「穴」字是一個山洞的象形,我們的祖先曾居於山洞之中,以布廉為門。
「穴」字是漢字的部首之一。
Lecture 195
The Story of Chinese Character :甲
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The Story of Chinese Character :甲
甲 depicts a tortoiseshell, it is as hard as armor.
In the past, 甲 also meant detention, since the tortoise's body was 'detained' inside a shell, but such meaning had been replaced by 押.
On the other hand, seed is covered by thick shell, and seed is the first stage of a plant, so 甲 is used as the first of TianGan (Heavenly Stems).
Lecture 196
The Story of Chinese Character :丙
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The Story of Chinese Character :丙
丙 depicts a hearth with a burning fire. The original meaning of 丙 was brightness, but such meaning was then replaced by 昺 and 炳.
On the other hand, stem of plant is burnable which can be used as firewood, so 丙 also meant stem of plant, such meaning has been replaced by 柄. Now 丙 solely means the third of TianGan after 乙, since a plant will stretch its stem(one of the original meanings of 丙) and grow long after it burgeoned(the picture of 乙).
Lecture 197
The Story of Chinese Character :次
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The Story of Chinese Character :次
次 depicts a sneezing man. When someone sneezes, his health condition is inferior(second to normal). In the past, 次 meant sneeze, but such meaning was then replaced by 嚏, so even now, both 次 and 嚏 have the same pronunciation.
Lecture 198
The Story of Chinese Character :吹
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The Story of Chinese Character :吹
吹 is composed of 口(a mouth) and 欠(a man who is blowing out air), we blow air through our mouths.
Lecture 199
The Story of Chinese Character :有
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The Story of Chinese Character :有
有 depicts a hand holding a meat(the BuShou of 肉). Meat was valuable in ancient China, when someone had a piece of meat, he thought that he really owned something.
Now 有 belongs to the BuShou of 月, which is a misunderstanding.
Lecture 200
The Story of Chinese Character :佐
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The Story of Chinese Character :佐
佐 is composed of 人(a man) and 左(left hand). In the past, left hand was seen as the assistant of the right hand since it was thought to be weaker and less agile.
Lecture 201
The Story of Chinese Character :姓
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The Story of Chinese Character :姓
姓 composes of a 女 (woman) and 生 (birth). In the past, when China was matriarchal society, surname was given by mother since everyone was bred by mother only. Although now we inherit the surname from our fathers, 姓 is still used to represent the meaning of surname.
Lecture 202
The Story of Chinese Character :斧
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The Story of Chinese Character :斧
斧 is composed of 父(father) and 斤(a unit of weight, the picture of an axe), only the father is strong enough to use an axe.
Lecture 203
The Story of Chinese Character :析
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The Story of Chinese Character :析
析 depicts a tree(木) being chopped by an axe(斤). The tree trunk will split into small pieces once it has been chopped.
Lecture 204
The Story of Chinese Character :空
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The Story of Chinese Character :空
空 depicts a shovel(工) inside a cave(穴). A cave will have more space inside if we use a shovel to dig it. Also, if a cave is empty inside, it has more space inside.
On the other hand, since the sky is spacious and seems empty, 空 is also used to describ the sky.
Lecture 205
The Story of Chinese Character :我
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The Story of Chinese Character :我
我 is composed of 手(hand) and 戈(dagger), represents someone holding a dagger to protect himself, fight for his own survival, so 我 means me.
Lecture 206
The Story of Chinese Character :句
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The Story of Chinese Character :句
句 depicts two crooks hooking with each other. 句 shared the same origin with 勾, both of them also had the same meaning in the past. Now 句 mainly means sentence, in a sentence, one word hook up with another.
Lecture 207
The Story of Chinese Character :同
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The Story of Chinese Character :同
同 is composed of 凡(the picture of a sail, means every or ordinary) and 口(mouth). Every mouth is a hole, all holes are the same(dark inside), so we use 同 to represent the same or in common. 同 also meant hole before, but such meaning was then replaced by 洞.
Lecture 208
The Story of Chinese Character :狗
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The Story of Chinese Character :狗
狗 is composed of the BuShou of 犬(dog) and 句(sentence, meant hook before). Dogs are friendly animals, they always follow their master like being hooked.
Lecture 209
The Story of Chinese Character :孚
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The Story of Chinese Character :孚
孚 depicts a child(子) being comforted by a hand(爪). Parents loves and is faithful to their own children, they are the people whom their children can trust and rely on, so 孚 also means faith. The original meaning of 孚 has been replaced by 撫, now 孚 only means faith.
Lecture 210
The Story of Chinese Character :尖
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The Story of Chinese Character :尖
尖 is composed of 小(small) and 大(big), 小 is on the top while 大 is underneath. If something is small on the top but big at the bottom, it will become a shape of sharp awl.
Lecture 211
The Story of Chinese Character :秉
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The Story of Chinese Character :秉
秉 depicts a standing grain(禾) being held by a hand.
Lecture 212
The Story of Chinese Character :此
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The Story of Chinese Character :此
此 is composed of止(a foot with long toes) and 匕(a walking stick), both toe and walking stick can be used as an arrow to show the direction or point at something, so when they join together, it has the meaning of 'this' or 'such'.
Lecture 213
The Story of Chinese Character :朵
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The Story of Chinese Character :朵
朵 depicts a man hiding on the top of a tree(木), the man bends over like table(几). The original meaning of 朵 has been replace by 躲, now 朵 is used to describe something dangling or extrusive, such as flowers and ears.
Lecture 214
The Story of Chinese Character :名
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The Story of Chinese Character :名
名 depicts a mouth(口) under the moon(夕). When two people meet at night, they cannot see the face of each others, so they need to cry out their names for recognition.
Lecture 215
The Story of Chinese Character :戊
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The Story of Chinese Character :戊
戊 depicts an axe which is used to cut the branches of a tree, so 戊 represents a flourishing plant with plenty of branches,it also means the fifth stage of plant's growth. However, such meaning is then replaced by 茂, and 戊 solely means the fifth of TianGan.
Lecture 216
The Story of Chinese Character :牢
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The Story of Chinese Character :牢
牢 depicts a cow(牛) confined in a house, a cow is so big that it need to be toggled when being put in a house, so 牢 is used to describe something which is or confined.
Lecture 217
The Story of Chinese Character :呂
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The Story of Chinese Character :呂
呂 depicts two spines sticking together, these two bones are so close that look like two lovers or two friends staying with each other, so 呂 is used describe partner or companion, but such meaning is then replaced by 侶, now 呂 only means spine or is used as a surname.
Lecture 218
The Story of Chinese Character :直
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The Story of Chinese Character :直
直 depicts an eye with a straight line attached, represents someone is looking straight.
Lecture 219
The Story of Chinese Character :甾
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The Story of Chinese Character :甾
甾 depicts a flooded field(田), such field cannot produce food, so it is a big disaster.
Lecture 220
The Story of Chinese Character :庚
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The Story of Chinese Character :庚
庚 depicts a crop which is being grabbed by human hands, that means a plant is ripe enough for harvest, so 庚 represents the seventh stage of plant's growth, and is used as the seventh of TianGan after 己(an old and twisted tree stem).
Lecture 221
The Story of Chinese Character :叒
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The Story of Chinese Character :叒
叒 is composed of three hands(又), all hands are in the shapes of picking something. In the past, 叒 meant the action of picking, but such meaning was then replaced by 掇. Now we hardly use 叒 independantly, 叒 only exists as a component of the other HanZi.
On the other hand, 叒 is the origin of 又, 又 is the simplified 叒.
Lecture 222
The Story of Chinese Character :囚
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The Story of Chinese Character :囚
囚 is composed of 囗(an enclosure) with 人(a man) inside it, a man who is put in an enclosure, he is a prisoner.
Lecture 223
The Story of Chinese Character :私
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The Story of Chinese Character :私
私 is composed of 禾(a crop) and厶(a noose). China has long been an agricultural society, crops were the main properties of Chinese people in the past, they liked to tie a noose to circle them to show that those were their private stuffs.
Lecture 224
The Story of Chinese Character :半
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The Story of Chinese Character :半
半 depicts a cow with 八(means the number of eight, depicts a stick breaks into two pieces) above it, since cow is very big, we need to cut it in half if we want to take it.
Lecture 225
The Story of Chinese Character :伴
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The Story of Chinese Character :伴
伴 is composed of the BuShou of人(human-being) and半(half). Human-beings are social animals who do not want to be alone, they think they miss something (half) in themselves when feeling lonely, only a companion can make them 'complete'.
Lecture 226
The Story of Chinese Character :判
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The Story of Chinese Character :判
判 is composed of半(half) and the BuShou of刀(knife). Since a knife is so sharp that can cut and divide something accurately, also, half is the fairest portion to each other, so判 means 'justice' . Accuracy and fairness, both of them are important elements of justice.
Lecture 227
The Story of Chinese Character :谷
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The Story of Chinese Character :谷
谷 is composed of two 八(eight, it is a picture of a broken stick) and a 口(mouth, also means open), it is the chorography of a river valley. In ancient Chinese concept, valley is a depression in the surface of a land which is broken apart by river, it has an open exit likes mouth.
Lecture 228
The Story of Chinese Character :或
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The Story of Chinese Character :或
或 is composed of 囗(an enclosure) and 戈(a spear), it depicts someone's domain is being guarded by force. In the past, 或 meant a land with certain boundaries, but such meaning was then replaced by 域 and 國, now 或 solely means 'or' or 'probably', since enemies may come from different direction, there is no certain post for guards, sometimes they need to guard here, sometimes there.
Lecture 229
The Story of Chinese Character :青
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The Story of Chinese Character :青
青 depicts a well surrounded by grass, well has water , so the grass around it is always green.
In the past, 青 was used to represent the colour of green and blue, but such two meanings had been replaced by 綠 and 藍, now 青 mainly means the colour of light green.
On the other hand, when a tree is densely covered by green leaves, it looks dark, so 青 is also used to describe something in dark colour, like hair and eyes.
Lecture 230
The Story of Chinese Character :扦
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The Story of Chinese Character :扦
扦 is composed of the BuShou of 手 and 千. 千 depicts a man transplanting the rice seedlings on the field, and he needs his hand to do it, so 扦 means thrusting or poking. On the other hand, since we need something slender and pointed to thrust or poke, 扦 also means a small slender pointed piece of object.
Lecture 231
The Story of Chinese Character :阡
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The Story of Chinese Character :阡
阡 is composed of the BuShou of 阜(mound) and 千(thousand, the picture of someone transplanting the rice seedlings). Since the seedlings are transplanted in rows, the green lines are straight like footpaths, and such footpaths are piled by mud as mound, so 阡 means the footpaths between fields, running north and south.
Lecture 232
The Story of Chinese Character :芊
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The Story of Chinese Character :芊
芊 is composed of the BuShou of 艸(grass) and 千(thousand, the picture of someone transplanting the rice seedlings). After the rice seedlings are transplanted, the field looks lush and green like grass, so 芊 is used to describe something lush and green.
Lecture 233
The Story of Chinese Character :忖
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The Story of Chinese Character :忖
忖 is composed of the BuShou of 心(heart) and 寸(inch). Ancient Chinese think that heart is the organ of thinking, 寸 is the picture of an arm with a stroke pointing at one inch below the palm, it is the point for Chinese physician to press and check the patient's pulse in order to diagnose, so 寸 has the meaning of 'speculation'.
Lecture 234
The Story of Chinese Character :伐
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The Story of Chinese Character :伐
伐 depicts a man(人) holding a dagger-axe(戈), he is ready to fight.
Lecture 235
The Story of Chinese Character :臼
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The Story of Chinese Character :臼
臼 depicts a mortar.
Lecture 236
The Story of Chinese Character :正
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The Story of Chinese Character :正
正 is composed of 止(the picture of a human foot) and a transverse line, the transverse line is the picture of rampart, it is囗 originally, depicts someone stepping on the rampart. 正 had the meaning of conquering, occupation and war, but such meaning was then replaced by征. Therefore, now正 is used to describe something which is just and correct, since in ancient China, a just reason is needed before you wage a war.
Lecture 237
The Story of Chinese Character :丕
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The Story of Chinese Character :丕
丕 is composed of 不 with a line drawn underneath, both come from the same origin, such line is for the purpose of distinction. Same as 不, 丕 is the picture of menstrual blood, menstrual blood is the symbol of fertility, After conception, woman gets an embryo in her body, but such meaning has been replaced by 胚.
丕 means greatness since the birth rate was extremely low in the past and conception seemed to be a great thing. However, now we seldom use 丕 to describe something great, and 丕 is mostly seen in ancient writings.
Lecture 238
The Story of Chinese Character :杯
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The Story of Chinese Character :杯
杯 is composed of 木(wood) and 不(the picture of menstrual blood sheds from vagina). Menstrual blood is the symbol of woman's fertility, when a woman is fertile, she is able to conceive and carry her baby as a cup does. Also in ancient China, most of the cups were made of wood, so the BuShou of 木 was applied.
Lecture 239
The Story of Chinese Character :乳
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The Story of Chinese Character :乳
乳 is composed of 孚(a child being comforted by a hand) and 乙(a growing seedling). 乳 means young or junior, since human babies can only be fed by milk, 乳 also means milk.
The pronunciation of 乳 and 乙 is similar.
Lecture 240
The Story of Chinese Character :矢
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The Story of Chinese Character :矢
矢 is the picture of an arrow. Arrow goes straight, so 矢 also has the meaning of straightness and determination.
Lecture 241
The Story of Chinese Character :米
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The Story of Chinese Character :米
米 depicts a magnifying spike of rice, the grains of rice is clearly shown.
Lecture 242
The Story of Chinese Character :究
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The Story of Chinese Character :究
究 is composed of 穴(a cave) and 九(nine, the picture of a winding route towards the destination). A cave is dark inside, while a winding path makes us confused, both are difficult to probe.
Lecture 243
The Story of Chinese Character :臣
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The Story of Chinese Character :臣
臣 depicts a popped eye out of fright. When the monarch is giving instructions, the subjects will be terrified, they must listen carefully for fear that they will get punished. So a popped and scared eye is used to represent the courtiers or the subjects who serve their monarch.
Lecture 244
The Story of Chinese Character :奀
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The Story of Chinese Character :奀
奀 is composed of 不 and大. 大 means 'big' while 不 means 'not', so 歪 is used to describe something which is 'small' or 'not big'.
Lecture 245
The Story of Chinese Character :网
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The Story of Chinese Character :网
网 is the picture of a net. Now we use 網 to represent the meaning of net instead, but in simplified Chinese, 网 is still being used to mean net.
Lecture 246
The Story of Chinese Character :扑
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The Story of Chinese Character :扑
扑 is composed of the BuShou of手 and卜(the picture of a stick or tool here, but has no relation with the meaning of卜). Someone needs to hold a stick if he want to beat something.
扑shares the same pronunciation and meaning as攴 and攵 .
Lecture 247
The Story of Chinese Character :收
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The Story of Chinese Character :收
收 is composed of the variant of 勾(the picture of two hooks hooking together) and(the picture of a hand holding a stick or a tool). A hook is a tool for pulling thing, so 收means the act of collecting something
Lecture 248
The Story of Chinese Character :釆
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The Story of Chinese Character :釆
釆 depicts a ripe and dangling spike of rice. When rice is ripe, the grains of rice will pop out, so釆 has the meanings of separation and clearness. Now 釆 is hardly used independently, it mostly exists as BuShou or affix of the other HanZi like釋 and 悉.
Lecture 249
The Story of Chinese Character :征
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The Story of Chinese Character :征
征 is composed of彳(the picture of a road) and正(the picture of a foot stepping on the rampart). 正 itself has the meaning of conquering, 彳 is added to emphasize such act.
Lecture 250
The Story of Chinese Character :爭
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The Story of Chinese Character :爭
爭 depicts a rope being grabbed by two hands, represents that two people are competing for something.
Lecture 251
The Story of Chinese Character :妖
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The Story of Chinese Character :妖
妖 is composed of女(woman) and 夭(the picture of a man dancing with joy). A dancing woman is enchanting, something is too enchanting, it will make us dizzy and crazy, so besides bewitching beauty, 妖 also means evil spirit.
Lecture 252
The Story of Chinese Character :沃
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The Story of Chinese Character :沃
沃 is composed of the BuShou of水(water) and 夭(the picture of a man dancing with joy). Besides joy or happiness, 夭 also means flourish. Plants need water, so沃 also means fertility.
Lecture 253
The Story of Chinese Character :罔
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The Story of Chinese Character :罔
罔 is composed of the variant of 网(net) with 亡(to escape or die, depicts a man being chased to the corner) inside, represents a fugutive gets caught by a net. When a fugutive gets caught by a net, there is no way for him to escape, so 罔 means 'nothing'. On the other hand, net is a kind of trap, a device to deceive someone to get caught, so 罔 also means 'deception'.
罔 meant net in the past, but such meaning was then replaced by 網.
Lecture 254
The Story of Chinese Character :甫
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The Story of Chinese Character :甫
甫 depicts an offspring in the field, its original meaning is 'garden', but such meaning has been replace by 圃. Ancient China was an agricultural society, cultivation was male work, so 甫 was also used as the respectful form of address of man, similar to 男, both of them used field(田) to represent male.
On the other hand, offspring is the nascent state of a plant, so 甫 also has the meaning of 'just' and 'beginning'.
Lecture 255
The Story of Chinese Character :卒
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The Story of Chinese Character :卒
卒 is the picture of a clothes with a cross marking on the end of its Chinese style collar, (襟, the two pieces making up the front of Chinese Jacket), which is also the most narrow part of the collar, so 卒 has the meaning of 'smallness' and 'termination'.
In Japanese, 卒 in 卒業 (graduation) bear the meaning of 'termination'.
Lecture 256
The Story of Chinese Character :幸
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The Story of Chinese Character :幸
幸 is composed of the picture of a walking man and the variant of 羊, depicts goatherd. The danger in grassland is unpredictable, it is easy to lose a goat, goatherd needs some luck.
Lecture 257
The Story of Chinese Character :卷
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The Story of Chinese Character :卷
卷 is composed of the variant of 釆 with two hands (the picture of threshing) and the variant of 己(a twisted and curved tree trunk). When threshing, two hands will hold a bunch of rice's fringe, then whips repeatedly in order to beat the seed out of the grain, so the upper part of 卷 has the meaning of repeat, together with 己 forms 卷, which means twisting something repeatedly.
Lecture 258
The Story of Chinese Character :而
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The Story of Chinese Character :而
而 is the picture of human facial hair. The original meaning of 而 is facial hair, but such meaning has been replaced by鬚. On the other hand, since facial hair looks like tentacles which can grasp and hold, so而 also has the meaning of connection, now it is used as a conjunction.
Lecture 259
The Story of Chinese Character : 牀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 牀
牀 is composed of爿(a tree trunk cut in half )and木(the picture of a tree). 爿 also bears the meaning of bed. On the other hand, in ancient China, most of the beds are made of wood, so木 is added.
Lecture 260
The Story of Chinese Character : 戕
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The Story of Chinese Character : 戕
戕 is composed of爿(a tree trunk which is cut in half) and戈(a spear). 爿 means of something being broken in half, a spear is a weapon, so戕 has the meaning of violence and killing.
Lecture 261
The Story of Chinese Character : 床
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The Story of Chinese Character : 床
床 is composed of广 (depicts a house with only one wall, means a big house)and木. Ancient Chinese sit on the floor, they do not has big wooden furniture, the only big wooden furniture is bed, so木 is used to represent the meaning of bed.
Lecture 262
The Story of Chinese Character : 困
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The Story of Chinese Character : 困
困is composed of 囗(an enclosure) and木(a tree). A tree keeps growing, its root and leaves keep spreading, but it is stranded by an enclosure.
Lecture 263
The Story of Chinese Character : 因
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The Story of Chinese Character : 因
因 is composed of 囗(an enclosure) and 大(a man stretching his limbs). The space inside the enclosure is small, if someone stretches his limbs inside, he will touch the wall, so因 has the meaning of relying, reason and following.
Lecture 264
The Story of Chinese Character : 昏
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The Story of Chinese Character : 昏
昏 is composed of 氏(the picture of a bowing down man) and 日(sun). 氏 shares the same origin with 低(low), so 氏 was used to describe something in a lower position in the past, the sun goes down so low that is close to the horizon, it is dusk.
Lecture 265
The Story of Chinese Character : 如
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The Story of Chinese Character : 如
如 is composed of女(woman) and口(mouth). Ancient Chinese women care their own manners, they eat slowly and won't open their mouths too wide, but such meaning has been replaced by 茹. Now 如 only means 'as if' or 'such as', woman sips, it looks like nothing being eaten.
Lecture 266
The Story of Chinese Character : 畀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 畀
畀 is the picture of an arrow with big arrowhead. Once an arrow is shot, it won't come back, so 畀 has the meaning of giving or granting.
On the other hand, the 田 of 畀, is actually 囟, which is the picture of skull, means head.
Lecture 267
The Story of Chinese Character : 艮
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The Story of Chinese Character : 艮
艮 depicts a man twisting his head and opening his eyes. When someone twists his head, his neck reaches its limit and hardly move, so艮 is used to describe something tough and still.
On the other hand, 艮 has several meanings, it also means limit, boundary and difficulty, but those meanings have been replaced by限, 垠 and艱 respectively. Now艮 is seldom used independently, it exists as component of the others words.
Lecture 268
The Story of Chinese Character : 尒
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The Story of Chinese Character : 尒
尒 is the simplified form of爾, which depicts an arrow. Arrow look like a sign of indicating a direction, so尒 is used to represent person being addressed(you), now we use你 instead.
Lecture 269
The Story of Chinese Character : 你
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The Story of Chinese Character : 你
你 is composed of the BuShou of 人(man) and the variant of 尒(you). 尒 is the simplified form of 爾, depicts an arrow, has the meaning of indication. To show your respect, when talking to someone, your line of sight should point to him, it is the basic manners of human being.
Lecture 270
The Story of Chinese Character : 匣
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The Story of Chinese Character : 匣
匣 is composed of 匚(container) and 甲. 甲 is the picture of tortoiseshell, its shape looks like a box or cage, while匚 is a square-shaped container.
Lecture 271
The Story of Chinese Character : 狎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 狎
狎 is composed of the BuShou of 犬(dog) and 甲. 甲 is the picture of tortoiseshell, its shape looks like a box or cage, which is used to describe something being enclosed. Dog is animal, its behavior is not conformed with human morality, if someone want to do something immoral, he should do it in the darkness, like being sealed in a tortoiseshell, so狎 is used to describe improper or even immoral behavior.
Lecture 272
The Story of Chinese Character : 押
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The Story of Chinese Character : 押
押 is composed of the BuShou of手(hand) and 甲. 甲 is the picture of tortoiseshell, its shape looks like a box or cage, which has the meaning of being enclosed . Hand can grab, so押 has the meaning of confining or detaining. On the other hand, in ancient China, most prisoners also have the function as hostages, 押 also has the meaning of pledge.
Lecture 273
The Story of Chinese Character : 辵
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The Story of Chinese Character : 辵
辵 is composed of the variant of 行(the picture of a street) and the variant止(the picture of a foot), depicts a foot walking on the street, but now we seldom use辵, it can be only seen in other HanZi as BuShou.
Lecture 274
The Story of Chinese Character : 召
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The Story of Chinese Character : 召
召 is composed of刀 and口. In here, 刀 actually is the variant of匕(the picture of a spoon), 口 is the variant of皿(a container or a bowl). The original form of 召 is quite complicated, it is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China, which also can be seen as a picture of the king meeting with his feudal baron.
召 has the meanings of greeting, fairness and connection, but such three meanings have been replaced by招, 迢 and紹 respectively, now召 means calling together or summoning.
Note: The original form of召 can be only seen in KangXi Dictionary(康熙字典), such HanZi is composed of two variants of手(hand), 召, 酉(the picture of wine bottle) and皿(the picture of bowl or container), but no one use it now, but we can understand the original meaning of召.
Lecture 275
The Story of Chinese Character : 迢
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The Story of Chinese Character : 迢
迢 is composed of the BuShou of 辵 and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China, while 辵depicts a foot walking on the street. The traffic is inconvenient in ancient China, guest(or feudal baron) comes from a far place.
Lecture 276
The Story of Chinese Character : 招
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The Story of Chinese Character : 招
招 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China. If we want to summon someone, we can use our hands instead of our mouth.
Lecture 277
The Story of Chinese Character : 劭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 劭
紹 is composed of力(power) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China. If the emperor want to summon his feudal barons, he must has the power, while such power comes from virtue, not force, virtue is beautiful, which can be obtained from self-practice, and keep encouraging yourself.
Lecture 278
The Story of Chinese Character : 吃
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The Story of Chinese Character : 吃
吃 is composed of口(mouth) and乞(to beg), 乞 comes from气(air, also means strength) with one stroke omitted. When someone lacks strength, he will beg for food and eat.
Lecture 279
The Story of Chinese Character : 汔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 汔
汔 is composed of the BuShou of水 (water) and乞 (to beg). 乞 comes from气(air, also means breath) with one stroke omitted, which has the meaning of lack or inadequacy , so汔 means lack of water.
Lecture 280
The Story of Chinese Character : 朿
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The Story of Chinese Character : 朿
朿 depicts a tree with thorns.
Lecture 281
The Story of Chinese Character : 刺
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The Story of Chinese Character : 刺
刺 is composed of 朿(a tree with thorns) and the BuShou of刀 (knife). 朿 depicts a tree with thorns, which also has the meaning of sharpness and keenness, like knife.
Lecture 282
The Story of Chinese Character : 迄
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The Story of Chinese Character : 迄
迄 is composed of the BuShou of 辵 and乞(to beg). 辵depicts a foot walking on the street while 乞 comes from气(air, also means breath) with one stroke omitted. When someone lacks breath, his life ends, so迄 has the meaning of going to an end.
Lecture 283
The Story of Chinese Character :仙
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The Story of Chinese Character :仙
仙 is composed of the BuShou of人(a man) and山(hill). A man lives among the hills in order to stay away from the earthliness, who is different from the others, so 仙 is used to describe an immortal person with super power, or fairy.
Lecture 284
The Story of Chinese Character :肴
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The Story of Chinese Character :肴
肴 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(meat) and the variant of 爻(single and divided lines as specified in The Book of Change). 爻 depicts the bamboo sticks used in divination. Bamboo sticks scatter on ground during divination, so 爻 is used to describe something confused or disorderly, but such meaning has been replaced by 淆. Ancient Chinese like to mince the meat before cook it, the minced meat scatter on dish like 爻.
Lecture 285
The Story of Chinese Character :帘
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The Story of Chinese Character :帘
帘 is composed of 穴(a cave) and 巾(a cloth). The cloth is hanged over the entrance of the home(people lived in cave in the past), used as a curtain.
Lecture 286
The Story of Chinese Character :帆
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The Story of Chinese Character :帆
帆 is composed of 巾(cloth) and凡(all or ordinary). 凡 is the picture of a canvas, since 凡 generates different meanings, 巾 is added in order to indicate the exact meaning of 帆.
Lecture 287
The Story of Chinese Character: 並
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The Story of Chinese Character: 並
並 depicts two people standing together.
Remarks: Although 並, 并 and竝 are different in their forms, their origins, pronunciations and meanings are the same.
Lecture 288
The Story of Chinese Character: 言
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The Story of Chinese Character: 言
言 depicts a mouth spitting tongue and words. The form of 言 is similar to 舌, a stroke is added to represent words.
On the other hand, both 言 and 音 share the same origin, both have similar pronunciation and meaning.
Lecture 289
The Story of Chinese Character: 舌
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The Story of Chinese Character: 舌
舌 depicts a tongue coming out from a mouth(口). The tongue is a crotched snake's tongue since it is the most easily recognisable tongue among all kinds of animal in the world.
Lecture 290
The Story of Chinese Character :兆
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The Story of Chinese Character :兆
兆 depicts two men running away from the river. Flood is the major disaster in Ancient China, so when the river is in spate, people will know it is the sign of flood, so they escape away from the river, but such meaning has been replaced by 逃, now 兆 means the sign that something is about to happen. On the other hand, 兆 also represents a great amount, now means trillion.
Lecture 291
The Story of Chinese Character :辛
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The Story of Chinese Character :辛
辛 is the picture of a chisel., now 辛 does not have the meaning of chisel, means peppery taste only, peppery taste is burning or exploding, like a wood being broken by a chisel.
Lecture 292
The Story of Chinese Character :合
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The Story of Chinese Character :合
合 depicts a box with cover.
Lecture 293
The Story of Chinese Character :囟
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The Story of Chinese Character :囟
囟 depicts a skull with a cross on it, the cross represents the fontanel of human being.
Lecture 294
The Story of Chinese Character : 雨
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The Story of Chinese Character : 雨
雨 depicts water dripping from the sky, represents rain. On the other hand, ancient Chinese thought that the sky was rounded and the land was square, so the sky in 雨 looks like a big bowl.
Lecture 295
The Story of Chinese Character :卯
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The Story of Chinese Character :卯
卯 depicts two blades which the edges pointing outward. The blades cutting outward, means clearing a wide area for cultivation, then the people will settle down in one place and go nowhere, but such meaning had been replaced by 留. Now 卯 is only used as the fourth of DiZi(地支).
Lecture 296
The Story of Chinese Character : 男
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The Story of Chinese Character : 男
男 is constituted from 田 and 力. China was an agricultural society, while male was the main labour, so the concept 'a man who works in the field' was used to represent male.
Lecture 297
The Story of Chinese Character : 劦
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The Story of Chinese Character : 劦
劦 is composed of three力(the picture of an folded arm, means force). It is more powerful if three forces work together. Besides co-operation, 劦 also means unlimited power.
Lecture 298
The Story of Chinese Character :協
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The Story of Chinese Character :協
Lecture 299
The Story of Chinese Character :申
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The Story of Chinese Character :申
申 is the picture of lightning. The original meaning of 申 is lightning, but such meaning has been replaced by 電, now 申 means 'to state', lightning is extreme weather, ancient Chinese think that the god try to express his wrath.
Lecture 300
The Story of Chinese Character :夜
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The Story of Chinese Character :夜
夜 depicts a man stretching his body, the moon is on the right while a line pointing at his armpits is on the left.
夜 can be seen as the compound of 亦(the picture of a man showing his armpits) and 月(the moon), the original meaning of 亦 is armpit, armpits are alway covered, which has the meaning of darkness. night is dark but has the moon hanging in the sky.
Lecture 301
The Story of Chinese Character :石
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The Story of Chinese Character :石
石 depicts a chime, since a stone is difficult to be drawn, so a chime made of stone is used to represent the concept of stone.
Lecture 302
The Story of Chinese Character : 拓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 拓
拓 is composed of the BuShou of手(hand) and 石(stone, rock), which depicts a hand picking up a stone. Stone or rock is the obstruction of road or farmland, which should be removed by hand.
Lecture 303
The Story of Chinese Character :并
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The Story of Chinese Character :并
并 depicts two people standing together.
Remarks: Although 並, 并 and竝 are different in their forms, their origins, pronunciations and meanings are the same.
Lecture 304
The Story of Chinese Character :丞
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The Story of Chinese Character :丞
丞 depicts two hands lifting a man who is falling in a hole. 丞 has the meaning of rescue, but such meaning has been replaced by 拯, now 丞 only means assistance.
Lecture 305
The Story of Chinese Character : 取
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The Story of Chinese Character : 取
取 is composed of 耳(ear) and 又(also). 又 is the picture of a hand, so 取 depicts an ear being picked by a hand, its original meaning is cutting ear. In ancient China, soldiers will cut the ears of the captives as their trophies, but such meaning has been replaced by 聝 or 馘, now 取 means getting or taking.
Lecture 306
The Story of Chinese Character : 囝
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The Story of Chinese Character : 囝
囝 is composed of 囗(enclosed wall) and子(a baby). 囝 depicts a baby enclosed by walls, which has the meaning of being protected and bred, so囝 means son. 囝 is mainly used in Guangdong, Guangxi and the southern part of Fukien.
Lecture 307
The Story of Chinese Character : 囡
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The Story of Chinese Character : 囡
囡 is composed of 囗(enclosed wall) and女(a baby). 囡 depicts a girl enclosed by walls, which has the meaning of being protected and bred, so 囡 means daughter. 囡 is mainly used in Guangdong, Guangxi and the southern part of Fukien.
Lecture 308
The Story of Chinese Character : 交
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The Story of Chinese Character : 交
交 depicts a man who crosses his legs.
Lecture 309
The Story of Chinese Character : 妄
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The Story of Chinese Character : 妄
妄 is composed of 亡(death, escape, to lose) and 女(woman). 亡 depicts a man hiding in the corner which formed by two walls, means escape .Woman have not stayed at home but ran away, in ancient Chinese tradition, such behaviour will be seen as absurd and self-indulgent.
Lecture 310
The Story of Chinese Character : 盲
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盲
盲 is composed of 亡(death, escape, to lose) and 目(eye). 目 depicts a man hiding in the corner which formed by two walls, means losing something, 盲 represents lost of eye and lost of vision.
Lecture 311
The Story of Chinese Character : 宗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 宗
宗 is composed of 宀 and 示(altar). 宀 depicts the roof of a house, means family, 示 is an altar, an altar is placed inside a residence in order to pay respect to the ancestor.
Lecture 312
The Story of Chinese Character : 忘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 忘
忘 is composed of 亡(to lose, to flee, to die) and 心(heart). 亡 depicts a fugitive hiding in the corner, means losing something, ancient Chinese think heart is the organ which store our memories, so 忘 has the meaning of lost of memory.
Lecture 313
The Story of Chinese Character : 抵
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The Story of Chinese Character : 抵
抵 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 氐(straight). 氐 is the picture of a man touching the ground by his hands, it has the meaning of touch and keeping off already, on the other hand, hand is always used to touch and keep off thing.
Lecture 314
The Story of Chinese Character : 聿
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The Story of Chinese Character : 聿
聿 depicts a hand holding a pen, means pen, but such meaning has been replaced by 筆, now we seldom use it .
Lecture 315
The Story of Chinese Character : 承
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The Story of Chinese Character : 承
承 depicts three hands holding up a man, the shape, pronunciation and meaning of 承 is similar to 丞.
Lecture 316
The Story of Chinese Character : 夯
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夯
夯 is composed of 大(big, large) and 力(force, power). To tamp the foundation of the building, you need big power.
Lecture 317
The Story of Chinese Character : 社
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The Story of Chinese Character : 社
社 is composed of the BuShou of 示 and 土(earth). 土 depicts a mound, ancient Chinese pile up mud or stones on ground in order to pay their respect to the God of earth, while 示 is the picture of a sacrifice vessel. The original meaning of 社 is the God or earth, then it extend the meaning of society.
Lecture 318
The Story of Chinese Character : 亟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 亟
亟 depicts a man standing between the sky and the earth, with 口(mouth) and 又(the picture of a hand) on the left and right respectively. The sky and the earth is the end and border of the world, so the original meaning of 亟 is limit or acme, but such meaning has been replaced by 極.
No etymologist knows why there are 口 and 又 in 亟, I guess the original picture of 亟 is about the ancient Chinese cognition of the world. Ancient Chinese thought that the beginning of the world was chaos, a giant split it so the sky and the earth were separated, human beings scared the sky would collapse, so every time when there were some astronomical phenomena, they thought the giant was sleepy then woke him up by shouting and beating, so 亟 has the meaning of urgency
On the other hand, the giant needs to push the sky endlessly, which is a hard job or punishment(?), so 亟 also means punishment or putting someone to death, but such meaning has been replaced by 殛.
Lecture 319
The Story of Chinese Character : 汎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 汎
汎 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 凡. 凡 is the picture of canvas or sailcloth, water flows to lower position, while canvas and sailcloth will go wherever the wind blows, so 汎 means floating and is used to describe something universal or general.
Lecture 320
The Story of Chinese Character : 步
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The Story of Chinese Character : 步
步 depicts two feet walking forwards.
Lecture 321
The Story of Chinese Character : 戎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 戎
戎 is composed of 戈(spear) and 甲(armor). 戈 is a kind of weapon, while 甲 is the picture of a shield, so besides weapons, 戎 also means military matters such as war.
Lecture 322
The Story of Chinese Character : 岔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 岔
岔 is composed of 分(to divide, to separate) and 山(mountain). Mountain roads alway have forks and junctions.
Lecture 323
The Story of Chinese Character : 帚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 帚
帚 depicts a hand holding a broom.
Lecture 324
The Story of Chinese Character : 京
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The Story of Chinese Character : 京
京 depicts a tall building which is supported by several pillars. 京 means artificial highland, the emperor of ancient China lives in high place, so 高 also represents capital.
Lecture 325
The Story of Chinese Character : 炙
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The Story of Chinese Character : 炙
炙 is composed of the variant of 肉(meat) and 火(fire). 炙 depicts a meat being roasted over fire.
Lecture 326
The Story of Chinese Character : 吠
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The Story of Chinese Character : 吠
吠 is composed of 口(mouth) and 犬(dog). Dog makes sound by its mouth, called 吠.
Lecture 327
The Story of Chinese Character : 夃
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夃
夃 is composed of 乃(therefore) and 又(also). 乃 depicts a rope, while 又 is the picture of a hand, 夃 depicts a hand pulling a rope, which has the meaning of getting something, so 夃 means ‘more’.
Lecture 328
The Story of Chinese Character : 奶
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The Story of Chinese Character : 奶
奶 is composed of 女(woman, female) and 乃(to be, therefore). 乃 is the picture of a rope, which has the meaning of pulling and abundance, milk is produced by female animal, full of nutrition, can feed the children.
III. 9 to 12 strokes
Lecture 329
The Story of Chinese Character : 礽
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The Story of Chinese Character : 礽
礽 is composed of the BuShou of 示(to show, to reveal) and 乃(to be, therefore). 乃 can be seen as simplified version of 夃, depicts someone pulling a rope, which has the meaning of abundance, 示 is the picture of an altar, which has the meaning of praying for, if someone can obtain abundance by praying, he has got blessings from God.
Lecture 330
The Story of Chinese Character : 卷
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The Story of Chinese Character : 卷
卷 is composed of 龹 and the variant of 卩. 龹 is the picture of threshing, ancient Chinese use threshing machine to separate the grains from stalks, while the machine has wheel inside, so 龹 has the meaning of rolling or turning around. 卩 depicts a kneeling man, his knees are crooked. Both 龹 and 卩 has the meaning of 卷.
Lecture 331
The Story of Chinese Character : 扔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 扔
扔 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 乃. 乃 is the picture of a rope, so 扔 means a hand throwing a rope, 扔 means pulling or towing in ancient times, then it has the meaning of throwing.
Lecture 332
The Story of Chinese Character : 冎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 冎
冎 is the picture of a skull, its original meaning is bone, but such meaning has been replaced by 骨, now 冎 is only used as the part of the other words.
Lecture 333
The Story of Chinese Character : 肋
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The Story of Chinese Character : 肋
肋 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(flesh) and 力(force, power). Body is made of flesh, 力 is the picture of a bended arm, ribs are the body’s parts which are sandwiched by arms.
Lecture 334
The Story of Chinese Character : 馬
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The Story of Chinese Character : 馬
馬 depicts a running horse which has long mane.
Lecture 335
The Story of Chinese Character : 森
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The Story of Chinese Character : 森
森 depicts three trees (木). In ancient Chinese concept, three represents a lot, so three trees mean a lot of tree, a lot of trees mean a big jungle.
Lecture 336
The Story of Chinese Character : 焚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 焚
焚 is composed of two firewood (木) and the fire(火) underneath, thus produces the meaning of burning.
Lecture 337
The Story of Chinese Character : 集
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The Story of Chinese Character : 集
集 depicts a bird (隹) standing at the top of a tree (木), thus produces the meaning of gathering.
Lecture 338
The Story of Chinese Character : 鳥
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鳥
鳥 depicts a bird perching on the tree.
Lecture 339
The Story of Chinese Character : 絲
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The Story of Chinese Character : 絲
絲 depicts two silk roll. Since silk is an extremely thin fiber, 絲 is also used to describe the quality of thinness.
Lecture 340
The Story of Chinese Character :南
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The Story of Chinese Character :南
南 depicts a hill with a tall tree on its top, it was the hilly and woody landscape of southern China, such landscape is used to represent the meaning of south.
Lecture 341
The Story of Chinese Character :面
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The Story of Chinese Character :面
面 depicts a human face, since eye is the most eye-catching organ on the face, besides one eye, 面 skips the nose, mouth and ears.
In simplified Chinese, 面 is also used to represent the meaning of noodle, while in traditional Chinese, 麵 is used instead.
Lecture 342
The Story of Chinese Character : 魚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 魚
魚 depicts a fish.
Lecture 343
The Story of Chinese Character :眾
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The Story of Chinese Character :眾
眾 depicts three people(人) standing beneath the sun(should be 日, but now has became 目). Sunlight is a natural resource which can be shared by many many people, thus representing the meaning of a great amount. 眾 has the same meaning as 众, while 众 is seen as the simplified form of 眾 and mainly used in mainland China.
Lecture 344
The Story of Chinese Character :鬥
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The Story of Chinese Character :鬥
鬥 depicts two people fighting with each other by their hands. In simplified Chinese, 斗 is used instead of 鬥.
Lecture 345
The Story of Chinese Character :首
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The Story of Chinese Character :首
首 depicts a human head, such human head has long hair on its top and a big eye on its face, these two natures are the main distinctions of human beings from the other animals. Head is the most important part of a body, so we use 首 to describe something which is principal or prime.
Lecture 346
The Story of Chinese Character :頁
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The Story of Chinese Character :頁
頁 depicts a kneeing man, when a man is kneeing, his head looks bigger. The original meaning of 首 is head, but now we only use 頁 to represent the meaning of leaf or page only since it share the same pronunciation with 葉.
On the other hand, 頁 is one of the radicals of HanZi, some of the HanZi which bear 頁 as radical such as 頭(head) or 頸(neck) preserve the original meaning of 頁.
Lecture 347
The Story of Chinese Character : 風
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The Story of Chinese Character : 風
風 is composed of 凡(a sail) and 虫(a creature). 凡 is a tool which can allow human being to manipulate the power of wind.
On the other hand, ancient Chinese believed that some of natural phenomena such as rainbow(虹) or mirage(蜃) were caused by some mythic creatures, so 虫 was used to describe wind. It can also be seen that 風 is the mythic creature which create wind.
Lecture 348
The Story of Chinese Character : 晶
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The Story of Chinese Character : 晶
晶 depicts three twinkling stars in the sky, after the appearance of 星, 晶 solely means twinkling light.
Lecture 349
The Story of Chinese Character : 星
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The Story of Chinese Character : 星
星 is composed of several stars(日) and a tree(生). Ancient Chinese believed all stars were hanged on a big big tree,on the other hand, since the stars twinkle, they look alive(生).
Lecture 350
The Story of Chinese Character : 看
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The Story of Chinese Character : 看
看 depicts an eye(目) with a hand(手) put above it, the hand prevents the eyes from being hit directly by the sunlight so we can see the object more easily and clearly.
Lecture 351
The Story of Chinese Character : 彗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 彗
彗 depicts a hand holding several plants with luxuriant branches and leaves(丰), ancient Chinese used to use it as a broom or whisk, but besides comet, now we hardly use 彗 to represent the meaning of broom or whisk.
Lecture 352
The Story of Chinese Character : 臭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 臭
臭 is composed of 自(a nose) and 犬(a dog). Nose is the organ for smelling, while dog has good sense of smell, both of them combine and develops the meaning of smelling, scent and stink. After the appearance of 嗅,臭 mainly means stink.
Lecture 353
The Story of Chinese Character : 秋
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The Story of Chinese Character : 秋
秋 composes of 禾(standing grain) and 火(fire). Since autumn is the season of harvesting, and autumn is also a dry season in which bush fire always occurs.
Lecture 354
The Story of Chinese Character : 甜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 甜
甜 composes of a tongue(舌) and a mouth with a candy staying inside(甘). If we want to enjoy the sweetness of candy, we need both our mouths and tongues.
Lecture 355
The Story of Chinese Character : 雲
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The Story of Chinese Character : 雲
雲 is composed of cloud(云) and rain(雨), it is because rain drops from cloud.
Lecture 356
The Story of Chinese Character : 趾
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The Story of Chinese Character : 趾
趾 is composed of a leg(足) and toe(止), it is because toe is part of the leg.
Lecture 357
The Story of Chinese Character : 唱
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The Story of Chinese Character : 唱
唱 is composed of 口(a mouth) and 昌(singing under the sun), since we sing by our mouth.
Lecture 358
The Story of Chinese Character : 娼
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The Story of Chinese Character : 娼
娼 is composed of 女(a woman) and 昌(singing or speaking outside), means a woman who is singing or speaking openly. In ancient Chinese, it was disgraceful that a woman spoke or sang in public(under the sun), only prostitute would do.
Lecture 359
The Story of Chinese Character : 倡
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The Story of Chinese Character : 倡
倡 is composed of 人(a man) and 昌(singing under the sun), the original meaning of 倡 is actor or singer. When a actor or singer is popular, he or she will become an idol for the others to imitate, so 倡 also has the meaning of initiating or proposing someone to do something.
Lecture 360
The Story of Chinese Character : 紙
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The Story of Chinese Character : 紙
紙 is composed of 糸(a silk coil, the BuShou of 絲) and 氏(the surname). In ancient China, if someone did something good to the society, the emperor would grant him a surname, and such a surname was written on a white silk sheet in order to represent how valuable it is. At that time, people did not have paper, they wrote on white silk sheet, such white silk sheet which used for writing was 紙. Even though people had paper then, they still called paper as 紙.
Lecture 361
The Story of Chinese Character : 授
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The Story of Chinese Character : 授
授 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 受(to accept). The origin of 授 was 受, with a view to distinguishing between the act of giving with the act of accepting, the BuShou of 手 was added on 受 and make 授, and used 授 to represent the act of giving. No one like giving, so we need one more hand to help.
Lecture 362
The Story of Chinese Character :背
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The Story of Chinese Character :背
背 is composed of 北(means north, two people sitting back to back) and the BuShou of 肉. Back is part of human body, human body is a structure of meat. 北 was the origin of 背, meant back in the past.
Lecture 363
The Story of Chinese Character :黃
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The Story of Chinese Character :黃
黃 depicts a man who is wearing a string of big jade pendants on his neck, those jade pendants are yellow in colour. The meaning about those jade pendants is then replaced by 璜, now 黃 solely means yellow.
Lecture 364
The Story of Chinese Character :恥
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The Story of Chinese Character :恥
恥 is composed of 耳(an ear) and 心(a heart), when someone is doing something shameful, his ears will turn red while his heart will beat fast.
Lecture 365
The Story of Chinese Character :窗
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The Story of Chinese Character :窗
窗 depicts a window with lattice(囪) placed in a hole(穴), further emphasizes the position and the function of a window.
Lecture 366
The Story of Chinese Character :窅
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The Story of Chinese Character :窅
窅 depicts a cave(穴) with an eye(目) inside it. Since it is dark inside the cave, we can hardly see and think that the cave is very deep.
Lecture 367
The Story of Chinese Character :盜
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The Story of Chinese Character :盜
盜 is composed of 欠(a man opening his mouth) with the radical of 水(water) next to it, and 皿(a dish) underneath. 盜 is a scene of a burglary, a burglar sees a big dish, he opens his mouth out of exclamation, and drips saliva because of greed.
Lecture 368
The Story of Chinese Character :韋
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The Story of Chinese Character :韋
韋 depicts two feet walking around an enclosure.韋 meant enclosure before, but such meaning was then replaced by 圍. On the other hand, 韋 can be used to describe something which is violated or not wanted, but such meaning has also been replaced by 違, now we mostly use 韋 as surname.
Lecture 369
The Story of Chinese Character :圍
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The Story of Chinese Character :圍
圍 is composed of 囗(an enclosure) and 韋(two feet walking around an enclosure). Both 圍 and 囗 share the same meaning and pronunciation, but 囗 looks almost the same as 口(mouth), to prevent confusion, we use 圍 instead.
Lecture 370
The Story of Chinese Character :壺
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The Story of Chinese Character :壺
壺 depicts a pot with a cover on its top.
Lecture 371
The Story of Chinese Character :洞
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The Story of Chinese Character :洞
洞 is composed of 同(every mouth is the same) and the BuShou of 水. Every mouth is a hole, while it is watery inside.
Lecture 372
The Story of Chinese Character :家
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The Story of Chinese Character :家
家 depicts a house with a pig(豕) inside. Since ancient Chinese was an agricultural society, livestock was the main property of each family while pig was the most common livestock.
Lecture 373
The Story of Chinese Character :阜
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The Story of Chinese Character :阜
「阜」字是梯田的象形,因梯田能生產更多農作物,「阜」字有富裕繁榮之意。
Lecture 374
The Story of Chinese Character :兼
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The Story of Chinese Character :兼
兼 depicts two standing grains being held by a hand, so 兼 is used to describe the situation of holding more than one stuffs.
Lecture 375
The Story of Chinese Character :雀.
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The Story of Chinese Character :雀.
雀 is composed of 小(small) and 隹(bird), 雀 means small bird.
Lecture 376
The Story of Chinese Character :侶
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The Story of Chinese Character :侶
侶 is composed of the BuShou of人(human-being) and呂(spine). Since people do not want to be alone and always seek company, and friends and lovers always stick together like two piece of spines, so人 and 呂 are combined to represent partner and companion.
Lecture 377
The Story of Chinese Character :品
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The Story of Chinese Character :品
品 depicts three objects displayed on the ground, so they are easy to be compared and graded.Or, 品 is three mouth which like to critize.
Lecture 378
The Story of Chinese Character :羔
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The Story of Chinese Character :羔
羔 depicts a lamb being grilled over fire. A lamb is small, so it is easy to get grilled.
On the other hand, a grilled lamb is soft like a cake, so 羔 also meant cake in the past, but such meaning has been replaced by 糕.
Lecture 379
The Story of Chinese Character :突
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The Story of Chinese Character :突
突 is composed of 穴(a cave) and 犬(a dog), it depicts a dog guarding at the entrance the cave, when a stranger comes close, the dog will dash and attack him, so 突 is used to describe something which is sudden or sticking out.
Lecture 380
The Story of Chinese Character :舐
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The Story of Chinese Character :舐
舐 is composed of 舌 and 氏, 舌 is a tongue while 氏 depicts a man bending over and almost touch the ground, so 舐 represents the action of using the tongue to touching something(licking).
Lecture 381
The Story of Chinese Character :猋
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The Story of Chinese Character :猋
猋 is composed of three 犬(dog). Dogs are emulative, when three of them are chasing something together, they will run fast in order to become number one.
Lecture 382
The Story of Chinese Character :寅
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The Story of Chinese Character :寅
寅 depicts an umbrella-like hut, while two men is resting underneath it. Such hut was the primitive residency of human beings. After people have made their clothes, they need a place to settle down, so 寅 is the third of DiZi after 丑.
寅 also means reverence. You invite someone to your home only if you respect him.
Lecture 383
The Story of Chinese Character :國
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The Story of Chinese Character :國
國 is composed of 囗(an enclosure) and 或(means perhaps, it is the picture of an enclosed land being guarded by a spear). A country is a place enclosed by border, it needs to be protected by force.
Lecture 384
The Story of Chinese Character :域
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The Story of Chinese Character :域
域 is composed of 土(earth or land) and 或(means perhaps, it is the picture of an enclosed land being guarded by a spear). Domain is a land with certain boundaries, it needs to be guarded by force so no one can occupy it.
Lecture 385
The Story of Chinese Character :清
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The Story of Chinese Character :清
清 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 青(the picture of grass next to a well, means the colour of green, blue and black). When a lake is blue or green in colour, the water is clear.
Lecture 386
The Story of Chinese Character :晴
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The Story of Chinese Character :晴
晴 is composed of 日(the sun) and 青(the picture of grass next to a well, means the colour of green, blue and black). When the sun is hanging in the blue sky, it is a sunny day.
Lecture 387
The Story of Chinese Character :臿
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The Story of Chinese Character :臿
臿 is composed of 干(pestle) and 臼(mortar), depicts a pestle thrusting into a mortar, so 臿 is used to describe the action of inserting something, but now we use 插 usually.
Lecture 388
The Story of Chinese Character :插
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The Story of Chinese Character :插
插 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 臿(to insert, depicts a pestle thrusting into a mortar). A pestle needs human hand to operate, to perform the action of thrusting.
Lecture 389
The Story of Chinese Character :美
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The Story of Chinese Character :美
美 is composed of 羊(goat, the picture of a goat head with horns) and 大(big, the picture of a man stretching his arms), depicts a man wearing a horn-liked ornament on his head. Horn is the weapon of male goat, it is the symbol of strength and masculinity, in the concept of ancient Chinese, a 'beautiful' man should be strong and masculine.
Lecture 390
The Story of Chinese Character :胖
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The Story of Chinese Character :胖
胖 is composed of the BuShou of 肉 and 半(half). 半 is the picture of a cow being cut in half, the cow must be big enough if we want to cut it in half, so 半 also had the meaning of bigness in the past. On the other hand, if something has a lot of meat, it is fat.
Lecture 391
The Story of Chinese Character :盃
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The Story of Chinese Character :盃
盃 is composed of 不(the picture of menstrual blood sheds from vagina) and 皿(container). Menstrual blood is the symbol of woman's fertility, when a woman conceives, she becomes a container of her baby, this is the origin of the meaning of 盃.
Lecture 392
The Story of Chinese Character :胚
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The Story of Chinese Character :胚
胚 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(meat) and 丕 which depicts the stop of menstrual blood. When a woman conceives, her menstruation stops, an embryo is inside her body. In addition, embryo can be seen as a piece of a flesh, so the BuShou of 肉 is applied.
Lecture 393
The Story of Chinese Character :粉
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The Story of Chinese Character :粉
粉 is composed of 米(rice) and 分(to divide). A grain of rice is small, even smaller if divided, so 粉 means powder.
Lecture 394
The Story of Chinese Character :歪
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The Story of Chinese Character :歪
歪 is composed of 不 and 正. 正 means 'correct' or 'true' while 不 means 'not', so 歪 is used to describe something which is 'wrong' or 'not correct'.
Lecture 395
The Story of Chinese Character :教
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The Story of Chinese Character :教
教 is composed of 孝 and a hand holding a cane. From the origin of this character, 孝 should be 爻 and 子 before, then changed to 孝, such change showed the evolution of ancient Chinese education, from the belief of supreme being to the concern of ethic and human relation. A hand holding a cane means urging, if a kid is too naughty, physical punishment is needed.
Lecture 396
The Story of Chinese Character :悳
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The Story of Chinese Character :悳
悳 is composed of 直(straight, honest) and 心(heart). Honesty or faithfulness is the most admirable quality of human being, so 悳 means virtue, but such meaning has been replaced by 德, now we seldom use 悳 but 德 instead.
Lecture 397
The Story of Chinese Character :圂
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The Story of Chinese Character :圂
圂 is composed of 豕(a pig) stays inside 囗(an enclosure), 圂 is the picture of a pigpen.
Lecture 398
The Story of Chinese Character :鬲
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The Story of Chinese Character :鬲
鬲 depicts a cooking utensil which is divided in two parts, the upper part looks like a three-legged ancient Chinese cooking vessel called Ting(鼎), which is used for boiling water; the lower part is a caldron with cover and porous bottom, which allows the steam go through in order to cook the food. Since the food is not cooked by the boiling water directly, 鬲 has the meaning of separation or partition, but such meaning has been replace by 隔.
Lecture 399
The Story of Chinese Character :泉
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The Story of Chinese Character :泉
泉 depicts water coming out from spring.
Lecture 400
The Story of Chinese Character :皇
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The Story of Chinese Character :皇
皇 depicts a shining axe. An axe is 王, while the sun and rays of light is used to represent the shine, and such image has evolved to 白. An axe is the symbol of a king, so a shining axe is even superior. The meaning of 皇 about shine has been replaced by 煌, now 皇 solely means emperor.
Lecture 401
The Story of Chinese Character :笑
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The Story of Chinese Character :笑
笑 is composed of the BuShou of 竹(bamboo) and 夭(the picture of a man dancing with joy). When people are happy, they cannot help dancing like bamboo swaying in the wind. Another explanation, bamboo is a common material of musical instruments, music makes people happy. Laughter is the common human reaction of joy, so笑 means laughter.
Lecture 402
The Story of Chinese Character :惘
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The Story of Chinese Character :惘
惘 is composed of the BuShou of 心(means heart or feeling, the picture of heart) and 罔(means 'nothing' or 'to deceive', the picture of a fugitive getting caught by a net). A fugitive will be dejected and disappointed if he get caught by a net.
Lecture 403
The Story of Chinese Character :尃
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The Story of Chinese Character :尃
甫 depicts an offspring in the field, its original meaning is 'garden', but such meaning has been replace by 圃. Ancient China was an agricultural society, cultivation was male work, so 甫 was also used as the respectful form of address of man, similar to 男, both of them used field(田) to represent male.
On the other hand, offspring is the nascent state of a plant, so 甫 also has the meaning of 'just' and 'beginning'.
Lecture 404
The Story of Chinese Character :萃
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The Story of Chinese Character :萃
萃 is composed of the BuShou of 艸 and 卒. 卒 is the picture of a clothes with a cross marking on the end of its Chinese style collar, has the meaning of 'gathering'. Also, grass is tufty, so 卒 and the BuShou of 艸 form 萃, means 'gathering'.
Lecture 405
The Story of Chinese Character :短
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The Story of Chinese Character :短
短 is composed of 矢(an arrow) and 豆(means beans, it is the picture of a container for beans). An arrow is short when it is compared with the other weapons like sword and spear(or: arrow goes straight, straight line is the shortest distance between two point), bean is small, so 短 is used to describe something short or tiny.
Lecture 406
The Story of Chinese Character :眷
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The Story of Chinese Character :眷
卷 is composed of the variant of 釆 with two hands (the picture of threshing) and 目(an eye). When threshing, two hands will hold a bunch of rice's fringe, then whips repeatedly in order to beat the seed out of the grain, so the upper part of眷has the meaning of repeat, together with目forms眷, which means looking back, when there is someone or something we concern, we look back, family is what we concern most.
Lecture 407
The Story of Chinese Character :髟
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The Story of Chinese Character :髟
髟 is composed of the variant of長 and three strokes. 長 is the picture of a man with long hair, while those three strokes is the picture of beard as they are in須, so髟 is used to describe human hair.
Lecture 408
The Story of Chinese Character :須
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The Story of Chinese Character :須
須 is 頁(the picture of a human head) with three strokes next to it, which depicts a human head with beard. In ancient China, a grown man must grow his facial hair, so 須 also has the meaning of must, then it generates 鬚, another HanZi which means beard also.
In addition, both須 and 需 are the picture of beard, they have similar meanings and pronunciations, both of them may come from the same origin.
Lecture 409
The Story of Chinese Character :耑
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The Story of Chinese Character :耑
耑 is composed of 山 and 而(the picture of beard). 山 should be the variant of 長, which is the picture of long hair, so 耑 depicts long hair and long beard, hair is line, line has two ends, but the original meaning of 耑 has been replaced by 端.
Lecture 410
The Story of Chinese Character : 喢
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The Story of Chinese Character : 喢
喢 is composed of 口(mouth) and 臿(the picture of a pestle thrusting into a mortar). 喢 means injurious words, since words comes from mouth and 臿 represents the act of causing pain.
Lecture 411
The Story of Chinese Character : 圉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 圉
圉 is composed of 幸 (the picture of a big goat) and 口(an enclosure). In ancient China, herding was seen as a low vocation and usually done by slave. Therefore, beside a person who herding horses and stable, 圉 also has the meaning prisoner or slave.
Lecture 412
The Story of Chinese Character : 單
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The Story of Chinese Character : 單
單 is the picture of a slingshot. Slingshot is Y-shaped, it is monopodial, so單 is used to describe something single, but its original meaning has been replaced by彈.
Lecture 413
The Story of Chinese Character : 耎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 耎
耎 is composed of 而(the picture of human facial hair)and大(the picture of a man stretching its limbs).If the facial hair can stretch, it means it is not tangled, therefore, 耎 is used to describe something soft, weak and smooth.
Lecture 414
The Story of Chinese Character : 喘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 喘
喘 is composed of 口(mouth) and 耑(the picture of long hair and long beard). An elder male has long hair and long beard, old men are weak, they speak like gasp.
Lecture 415
The Story of Chinese Character : 湍
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The Story of Chinese Character : 湍
湍 is composed of the BuShou of水(water, the picture of a river) and 耑(the picture of long hair and long beard). An elder male has long hair and long beard, the life of old man pass so quick as a torrential river.
Lecture 416
The Story of Chinese Character : 軟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 軟
軟 is composed of車(a car) and欠(the picture of a man blowing out air). After blown, human body will become baggy as a deflated balloon, so欠 also bears the meaning of softness and smoothness. In addition, smooth wheels is important for the running of a car, therefore車 is used as an affix of 軟.
Lecture 417
The Story of Chinese Character : 姻
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The Story of Chinese Character : 姻
姻 is composed of女(a woman) and因(a man stretching his limbs inside an enclosure, means relying). In the concept of ancient Chinese, woman does not have any productivity, she needs to marry a man so she can reply on him. In other words, marriage is the career of a woman. Therefore, we use女 and因 to form 姻 to represent the meaning of marriage.
Lecture 418
The Story of Chinese Character : 恩
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The Story of Chinese Character : 恩
恩 is composed of and 因(a man stretching his limbs inside an enclosure, means cause or reason) and心(heart). Both favour and kindness are generated from heart, also has reason.
Lecture 419
The Story of Chinese Character : 婚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 婚
婚 is composed of 女 and 昏. In primeval China, wedding was held in the evening, since after the ceremony, the night came, the couple could have sex without being seen by others.
On the other hand, in ancient China, wedding is the 'career' of woman, so婚 has女 as its BuShou.
Lecture 420
The Story of Chinese Character : 覓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 覓
覓 is composed of爪(the picture of a claw-shape hand) and見(the picture of an eye with a pair of standing legs). To look for something, we need to use our hands (to take away the covering) and eyes.
Lecture 421
The Story of Chinese Character : 焦
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The Story of Chinese Character : 焦
焦 is composed of 隹 and the BuShou of 火(fire), 隹 is bird with short and small feather, since it cannot fly high, it will be burnt when there is fire.
Lecture 422
The Story of Chinese Character : 革
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The Story of Chinese Character : 革
革 is the picture of a spread animal's skin. 革 means the leather without hair, so it is also used to describe something changed or removed.
Lecture 423
The Story of Chinese Character : 根
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The Story of Chinese Character : 根
根 is composed of木(the picture of a tree) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). Tree has root, root are twisty, as a twisted human neck.
Lecture 424
The Story of Chinese Character : 垠
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The Story of Chinese Character : 垠
垠 is composed of 土(the picture of a mound) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, his head is limited by his neck and cannot rotate for 360 degree, 艮 means limit here, together with 土 which means land, forms 垠, means boundary.
Lecture 425
The Story of Chinese Character : 很
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The Story of Chinese Character : 很
很 is composed of the BuShou of彳(action, the left part of 行) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, his head is limited by his neck and cannot rotate for 360 degree. 艮 means extremity here, the original meaning of很 is an extreme action, but such meaning has been replaced by狠, now很 is used as an intensifier of adjective.
Lecture 426
The Story of Chinese Character : 恨
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The Story of Chinese Character : 恨
恨 is composed of the BuShou of心(heart) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, his head is limited by his neck and cannot rotate for 360 degree. 艮 means extremity here, ancient Chinese think that emotion comes from heart, so恨 means hatred.
Lecture 427
The Story of Chinese Character : 狠
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The Story of Chinese Character : 狠
狠 is composed of the BuShou of犬(dog) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, his head is limited by his neck and cannot rotate for 360 degree. 艮 means extremity here, dog barks at stranger, seems so ferocious, so 狠 is used to describe someone whose personality or behaviour ferocious like dog.
Lecture 428
The Story of Chinese Character : 眼
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The Story of Chinese Character : 眼
眼 is composed of目(an eye) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). Eyes open wide when you stare at something.
Lecture 429
The Story of Chinese Character : 限
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The Story of Chinese Character : 限
限 is composed of the BuShou of阜(the picture of rice terraces, used to describe something high or towering) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, his head is limited by his neck and cannot rotate for 360 degree. 艮 means restriction or limitation here, an towering object blocks the way, so 限 has the meaning of restriction or limitation.
Lecture 430
The Story of Chinese Character : 隻
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The Story of Chinese Character : 隻
隻 is composed of隹(bird) and又(the picture of a right hand, means also). 隻 depicts a bird being grabbed by a hand, so隻 is used to describe something single or used as quantifier.
Lecture 431
The Story of Chinese Character : 柙
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The Story of Chinese Character : 柙
柙 is composed of木(wood, the picture of a tree) and 甲. 甲 is the picture of tortoiseshell, its shape looks like a box or cage. In ancient China, box or cage is made of wood, so 柙 means cage or pen for wild beasts.
Lecture 432
The Story of Chinese Character : 萑
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The Story of Chinese Character : 萑
萑 is composed of the BuShou of 艸(grass) and 隹(a bird). 雈 depicts a bird hiding in a bush of reeds, water bird always live in the grassy area beside lake or river, so萑 means reed, also used to describe something grassy.
Lecture 433
The Story of Chinese Character : 閂
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The Story of Chinese Character : 閂
閘 is composed of門(door) and a horizontal line. Such horizontal line is a latch locking the door.
Lecture 434
The Story of Chinese Character : 莫
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The Story of Chinese Character : 莫
莫 is composed of the BuShou of艸(grass), 日(the sun) and大, 大 should be the variant of艸, so 莫 depicts the sun being covered by grass. In the evening, the sun goes down and almost reaches horizon, so low that even being covered by grass. In the past, 莫 had the meaning of bushy(for example, in The Book of Songs(詩經), a verse written '維葉莫莫'), 莫 also means darkness or dusk, but such meaning has been replaced by 暮. On the other hand, ancient Chinese like brightness but hate darkness, they wish the sun will not go down, so 莫 has the meaning of 'Don't'.
Lecture 435
The Story of Chinese Character : 紹
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The Story of Chinese Character : 紹
紹 is composed of 糸(the picture of a coil) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China, in order to maintain good relation, while 糸 means linking, so 紹 has the meaning of continuation or recommending someone.
Lecture 436
The Story of Chinese Character : 昭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 昭
昭 is composed of 日(the sun) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China. China valued etiquette in the past, while serving a guest had certain etiquette, every step needed to be obvious and clear, as brightened by the sunlight. Or, the relation between the emperor and the feudal barons is shiny as the sun as no craftiness nor calculation.
Lecture 437
The Story of Chinese Character : 是
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The Story of Chinese Character : 是
是 is composed of 日(the sun) and the variant of 正. 正 depicts a foot going forward, the sun is the symbol of brightness, going towards the sun means chasing light, so正 has the meaning of correctness and affirmation.
Lecture 438
The Story of Chinese Character : 昰
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The Story of Chinese Character : 昰
昰 is composed of 日(the sun) and 正. 正 depicts a foot going forward, the sun is the symbol of brightness, going towards the sun means chasing light, so昰 has the meaning of correctness and affirmation.
Lecture 439
The Story of Chinese Character : 堤
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The Story of Chinese Character : 堤
堤 is composed of土(clay) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of going upward, so堤 means dam, a prominent clay barrier.
Lecture 440
The Story of Chinese Character : 提
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The Story of Chinese Character : 提
提 is composed of the BuShou of手(hand) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of going upward, so提 means lifting something by hand.
Lecture 441
The Story of Chinese Character : 氣
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The Story of Chinese Character : 氣
氣 is composed of气(gas) and米(rice). Both 气 and 氣 have the same pronunciation and similar meanings, the difference between them, is that氣 also means the essence of life, a man wants to stay alive, he needs food, and rice is the staple food in ancient China.
Lecture 442
The Story of Chinese Character : 紇
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The Story of Chinese Character : 紇
紇is composed of糸(silk) and乞(to beg). 乞 comes from气(air, also means breath) with one stroke omitted, which has the meaning of termination lack or inadequacy , so紇 means knot made of a rope or string.
On the other hand, 乞 also has the meaning of lack or inadequacy, so紇 also silk means silk with inferior quality.
Lecture 443
The Story of Chinese Character : 媞
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The Story of Chinese Character : 媞
媞 is composed of 女(woman) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of facing light and goodness, so媞 is used to describe a beautiful and virtuous woman.
Lecture 444
The Story of Chinese Character : 隄
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The Story of Chinese Character : 隄
隄is composed of the BuShou of 阜(the picture of rice terraces, is used to describe something high) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of going upward, so隄 means dam, a prominent clay barrier.
Lecture 445
The Story of Chinese Character : 棗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 棗
棗is composed of two朿(a tree with thorns), means jujube, jujube is a spiny tree having dark red edible fruit.
Lecture 446
The Story of Chinese Character : 棘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 棘
棘 is composed of two朿(a tree with thorns), it means thorn bushes, but is also used to describe something sharp and pointy.
Lecture 447
The Story of Chinese Character : 訖
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The Story of Chinese Character : 訖
訖 is composed of言 and乞(to beg). 乞 comes from气(air, also means breath) with one stroke omitted. When someone lacks air, he cannot speak, so訖 has the meaning of termination or the end.
Lecture 448
The Story of Chinese Character : 從
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The Story of Chinese Character : 從
從 is composed of the variant of辵(to go towards, which divides into彳 and the variant of止) and从. 从 has already had the meaning of going after, with a view to making such meaning more clear, 辵 is added.
Lecture 449
The Story of Chinese Character :俗
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The Story of Chinese Character :俗
俗is composed of the BuShou of人(a man) and谷(valley). Valley is fertile, which is good for agriculture, many people like to live there.
Lecture 450
The Story of Chinese Character :島
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The Story of Chinese Character :島
島 is composed of the variant of鳥(bird) and山(hill). An island lies on the flat sea, which looks like a pointed hill on a plain. On the other hand, island is surrounded by water, only bird can fly there, so the picture of a bird standing at the top of a hill is used to represent島.
Lecture 451
The Story of Chinese Character :烏
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The Story of Chinese Character :烏
烏 depicts a crow, which is represented by鳥 with one stroke omitted. Crow is black, and so is the eye, crow looks like a bird without eye, so the stroke which represent the eye is omitted.
Lecture 452
The Story of Chinese Character :食
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The Story of Chinese Character :食
食 depicts an opened mouth eating a dish of food.
Lecture 453
The Story of Chinese Character :淆
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The Story of Chinese Character :淆
淆 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 肴(cooked meat and fish). 肴 has already had the meaning of chaos or disorder, on the other hand, water is liquid, which is easy to be mixed up.
Lecture 454
The Story of Chinese Character :酒
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The Story of Chinese Character :酒
酒 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and酉(the eighth of the twelve DiZi(Earthly Branches) were used by the ancients to designate years, months, and days). 酉 is the picture of a wine(water) pot, wine is fragrant and easy to evaporate, it needs to be stored in a pot.
Lecture 455
The Story of Chinese Character: 信
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The Story of Chinese Character: 信
信 is composed of the BuShou of人(man) and言(speech). Ancient Chinese is very cautious in speaking, once something has spoken out, it must be got done, therefore, speech of a man is credible. On the other hand, in the past, communications between people are mainly speech since transmission of letter is difficult at that time, so 信 also has the meaning of message.
Lecture 456
The Story of Chinese Character: 音
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The Story of Chinese Character: 音
音 depicts a mouth spitting tongue and words. The form of 音 is similar to 舌, several strokes are added to represent words.
On the other hand, both 音 and 言 share the same origin, both have similar pronunciation and meaning.
Lecture 457
The Story of Chinese Character : 思
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The Story of Chinese Character : 思
思 is composed of 心 and 田, 心 is a heart while 田 in here does not mean farmland. Actually, 田is the picture of a skull, it should be 囟 but was misunderstood as 田 due to the similarity of their shapes in the past. Ancient Chinese thought that both brain and heart were the organs of thinking.
Lecture 458
The Story of Chinese Character : 脅
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The Story of Chinese Character : 脅
脅 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(muscle) and 劦(to co-operate, unlimited power). Shoulders and the upper part of our arms can work together to generate big power, those muscles are amongst the strongest of human body, so 脅 means shoulders and the upper part of our arms.
Lecture 460
The Story of Chinese Character :恰
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The Story of Chinese Character :恰
恰 is composed of the BuShou of 心(heart) and 合. 合 is used to describe something proper or suitable, on the other hand, ancient Chinese think that heart is responsible for human thoughts and feelings, man decide suitability by thinking.
Lecture 461
The Story of Chinese Character : 拾
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The Story of Chinese Character : 拾
拾 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 合(to gather, close). 合 is the picture of a container with cover, which has the meaning of containing and collecting. Hand is the main body part for doing thing of human being, when we want to collect or gather something, we need to pick it up.
Lecture 462
The Story of Chinese Character : 洽
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The Story of Chinese Character : 洽
洽 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 合(to close or to combine). Water is liquid, liquid is easy to blend and mix up, which has the meaning of harmony, so 洽 means negotiation or discussion.
Lecture 463
The Story of Chinese Character : 留
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The Story of Chinese Character : 留
留 is composed of 卯(two people sitting together, means settle down) and 田(a farmland). If people want to settle down in one place, they need food, farming is the best and stable way to produce food.
Lecture 464
The Story of Chinese Character : 盒
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盒
盒 is composed of 合and 皿(a dish). 合has the meaning of gathering and closing, while 皿 is a kind of container, so盒 means box or case.
Lecture 465
The Story of Chinese Character : 紀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 紀
紀 is composed of 糸(the picture of strings) and 己(the picture of a  coiled rope). A rope has the meaning of restraint and discipline, ancient Chinese make records by tying knots,  while speech and words is tool for communication, so 記 has the meaning of  records, notes or memory.
Lecture 466
The Story of Chinese Character : 脇
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The Story of Chinese Character : 脇
脇 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(muscle) and 劦(to co-operate, unlimited power). Shoulders and the upper part of our arms can work together to generate big power, those muscles are amongst the strongest of human body, so 脇 means shoulders and the upper part of our arms.
Lecture 467
The Story of Chinese Character : 訖
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The Story of Chinese Character : 訖
訖 is composed of 言 and乞(to beg). 乞 comes from 气(air, also means breath) with one stroke omitted. When someone lacks air, he cannot speak, so 訖 has the meaning of termination or the end.
Lecture 468
The Story of Chinese Character : 紙
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The Story of Chinese Character : 紙
紙 is composed of 糸(the picture of a silk coil) and 氏(the surname). 氏 depicts a bowing man holding a frame, the frame means enclosing a piece of land, implies someone obtaining a piece of land, it means a piece of flat object.
Before the invention of paper, people writes on silk sheet, 紙 is a flat object which made of silk.
Lecture 469
The Story of Chinese Character : 記
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The Story of Chinese Character : 記
記 is composed of 言(speech or words) and己(the picture of a coiled rope). Ancient Chinese make records by tying knots, while speech and words is tool for communication, so 記 has the meaning of records, notes or memory.
Lecture 470
The Story of Chinese Character : 詔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 詔
詔 is composed of言(speech) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China, means the emperor summoning his subjects, so 詔 is used to represent the speech of the emperor which is announced to the general public.
Lecture 471
The Story of Chinese Character :竝
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The Story of Chinese Character :竝
竝 is composed of two 立, depicts two standing men, but 竝 is barely used nowadays and 並 is being used instead.


Remarks: Although 並, 并 and竝 are different in their forms, their origins, pronunciations and meanings are the same.
Lecture 472
The Story of Chinese Character : 祭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 祭
祭 is composed of 示(an altar), the variant of 肉(meat) and the variant of 又(the picture of a hand). 祭 depicts a hand putting an sacrifice on an altar.
Lecture 473
The Story of Chinese Character : 觝
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The Story of Chinese Character : 觝
觝 is composed of 角(horn) and 氐. 氐 is the picture of a man touching the ground by his hands, it has the meaning of touch and contact already. On the other hand, if an animal with horn is ignited, it will bump by its horn, so 觝 means contradiction or conflict.
Lecture 474
The Story of Chinese Character : 案
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The Story of Chinese Character : 案
案 is composed of 安(safe) and 木(wood). 安 means stable or steady here, a table can be allowed to placed something steadily, and in ancient China, most tables are made of wood, so 安 and 木 make 案. On the other hand, we do our paperworks on a table, so 案 also means document.
Lecture 475
The Story of Chinese Character : 植
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The Story of Chinese Character : 植
植 is composed of 木(wood) and 直(straight). 直 here has the meaning of going up straightly, plants need sunlight, so they grow upward.
Lecture 476
The Story of Chinese Character : 按
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The Story of Chinese Character : 按
按 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 安. 安 means stable or fixed here, an object will be stable or fixed if our hand press it down.
Lecture 477
The Story of Chinese Character : 牴
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The Story of Chinese Character : 牴
牴 is composed of the BuShou of 牛(cow) and 氐. 氐 is the picture of a man touching the ground by his hands, it has the meaning of touch and contact already. On the other hand, if a cow is ignited, it will bump by its head, so 牴 means contradiction or conflict.
Lecture 478
The Story of Chinese Character : 畫
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The Story of Chinese Character : 畫
畫 is composed of 聿 and the variant of 田(field, farmland). 聿 depicts a hand holding a pen, means writing, fields are important properties, the borders between them must be accurate and clear, we should use a pen to draw and map them out, so 畫 has the meaning of plan or delimitation, but such meaning has been replaced by 劃, now 畫 mostly means drawing.
On the other hand, the lower part of 畫 in Oracle bone inscriptions is not the picture of a field, the meaning is still unknown, which can be seen as a kind of pattern or design. However, no matter if it is field or something else, the meaning of 畫 won’t be affected, no need to canvass.
Lecture 479
The Story of Chinese Character : 筆
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The Story of Chinese Character : 筆
筆 is composed of the BuShou of 竹(bamboo) and 聿. 聿 depicts a hand holding a pen, means pen, pen is mostly made of bamboo in ancient China.
On the other hand, 聿 has the same pronunciation as 遹 in the past, which is similar to the ancient pronunciation of 筆, both in present Cantonese still preserve such pronunciation.
Lecture 480
The Story of Chinese Character : 律
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The Story of Chinese Character : 律
律 is composed of 彳 and 聿. 彳 depicts a road, which has the meaning of action and behaviour, 聿 depicts a hand holding a pen, means pen, since attached to 彳, also means writing. When you write something, you need to follow format, pattern and rule.
Lecture 481
The Story of Chinese Character : 晝
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The Story of Chinese Character : 晝
晝 is composed of 聿 and 日(the sun) with one stroke underneath. 聿 depicts a hand holding a pen, which has the meaning of dividing or delimitation, daytime is after sunrise, while nighttime is after sunset, the sun divide daytime and nighttime. On the other hand, a stroke is added underneath for fear that it may be mixed up with 書.
Lecture 482
The Story of Chinese Character : 界
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The Story of Chinese Character : 界
界 is composed of 田(field) and 介, 介 depicts a man standing between two walls, which has the meaning of ‘between’, border or boundary lies between two fields.
界 is the variant form of 畍, both shares the same meaning and pronunciation.
Lecture 483
The Story of Chinese Character : 畍
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The Story of Chinese Character : 畍
畍 is composed of 田(field) and 介, 介 depicts a man standing between two walls, which has the meaning of ‘between’, border or boundary lies between two fields.
畍 is the variant form of 界, both shares the same meaning and pronunciation.
Lecture 484
The Story of Chinese Character : 拯
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The Story of Chinese Character : 拯
拯 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 丞(to assist). 丞 depicts two hands lifting a man who falls in a hole, it has already had the meaning of rescue. On the other hand, if someone falls in a hole, other people will use their hands to save him.
Lecture 485
The Story of Chinese Character : 極
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The Story of Chinese Character : 極
極 is composed of 木(the picture of a tree) and 亟. 亟 depicts a man standing between the sky and the earth, its original meaning is limit or acme. On the other hand, the life-span and the size of tree are the longest and biggest amongst all living things in the world.
Lecture 486
The Story of Chinese Character : 娶
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The Story of Chinese Character : 娶
取 is composed of 取(to get, to take) and 女(woman). 取 depicts an ear being picked by a hand, it is the picture of soldiers cutting the ears of the captives as their trophies. In ancient China, the society regards men as superior to women, for men who want to marry, women is like trophies in the war, so 娶 means male taking female as his wife.
Lecture 487
The Story of Chinese Character : 則
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The Story of Chinese Character : 則
則 is composed of 貝 and the BuShou of 刀(a knife). Here, 貝 actually should be the simplified form of 鼎(an ancient cooking cauldron),則 represents a knife carving rules or laws on a cauldron, in order to show importance and eternity, so 則 has the meaning of principle or regulation.
Lecture 488
The Story of Chinese Character : 涉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 涉
涉 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 步(a step, to walk), 涉 depicts two feet crossing a river.
On the other hand, you feet will get wet if you cross the river on foot, so 涉 is also used to describe something or someone getting involved in the other thing.
Lecture 489
The Story of Chinese Character : 酣
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The Story of Chinese Character : 酣
酣 is composed of 酉 and 甘. 酉 is the picture of a wine bottle, while 甘 has the meaning of sweetness, so 酣 means intoxication, and also means carefree.
Lecture 490
The Story of Chinese Character : 壴
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The Story of Chinese Character : 壴
壴 is the picture of a drum hanging on a rack, but such HanZi has been replaced by 鼓, now we seldom use 壴.
Lecture 491
The Story of Chinese Character : 高
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The Story of Chinese Character : 高
高 depicts a tall building which is built on the terrace.
Lecture 492
The Story of Chinese Character : 掃
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The Story of Chinese Character : 掃
掃 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 帚(broom). 帚 depicts a hand holding a broom, 手 implies taking action, so 掃 means the action of sweeping the ground by broom.
Lecture 493
The Story of Chinese Character : 棄
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The Story of Chinese Character : 棄
棄 depicts two hands throwing away a baby by a dustpan.
Lecture 494
The Story of Chinese Character : 哭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 哭
哭 is composed of two 口(mouth)( or 吅) and 犬(dog). When someone cry, he sounds like dog.
Lecture 495
The Story of Chinese Character : 豚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 豚
豚 is composed of the BuShou of 肉(meat) and 豕(pig). Pig is a kind of meat, so it called 豚, 豚 is also used to describe any creature looks like pig.
Lecture 496
The Story of Chinese Character : 盈
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盈
盈 is composed of 夃(more) and 皿(a container), 夃 depicts a hand pulling a rope. Pulling something for oneself, then save it in a container, so 盈 is use to describe something filled or full.
IV. 13 to 16 strokes
Lecture 497
The Story of Chinese Character : 剮
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The Story of Chinese Character : 剮
剮 is composed of 咼(the picture of a skull and a mouth) and the BuShou of 刀(knife). 咼 has the meaning of concavity, so 剮 means cutting off the flesh and making holes.
Lecture 498
The Story of Chinese Character : 惻
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The Story of Chinese Character : 惻
惻 is composed of the BuShou of 心(heart) and 則. 則 depicts a knife carving inscription on the cauldron, hurt in heart is like inscription carved on the cauldron, subtle but lasting.
Lecture 499
The Story of Chinese Character : 側
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The Story of Chinese Character : 側
側 is composed of the BuShou of 人(man) and 則. 則 depicts a knife carving inscription on the cauldron, which has the meaning of rule and principle, since principle can be used as standard and help someone to make decision, it need to be objective and impartial, human beings can be affected by lust and passion, when he is making decision, he need to stand aside and try not to be involved in the issue, so he can become objective and impartial.
Lecture 500
The Story of Chinese Character : 測
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The Story of Chinese Character : 測
測 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 則. 則 has the meaning of rule and principle, if you want to measure the depth of water, you need scientific rules or principles.
Lecture 501
The Story of Chinese Character : 烝
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The Story of Chinese Character : 烝
烝 is composed of 丞(to assist) and the BuShou of 火(fire). 丞 depicts a man being lifted by two hands, which has the meaning of ascending, water gets heat from fire will turn to ascending vapour. The original meaning of 烝 is water vapour, but such meaning has been replaced by 蒸, now 烝 is mainly used to describe something multitudinous.
Lecture 502
The Story of Chinese Character : 蒸
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The Story of Chinese Character : 蒸
蒸 is composed of the BuShou of 艸(grass) and 烝(to rise, the masses). 烝 has already had the meaning of steaming, while 艸 emphasises the steam thick as the flourishing grass.
Lecture 503
The Story of Chinese Character :齒
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The Story of Chinese Character :齒
齒 depicts a grinning mouth which showing the teeth inside. The upper part of 齒 is 止, which indicates the pronunciation of 齒, since both 止 and 齒 share the same pronunciation(zhi3). By the way, when you say 齒, you grin and show your teeth.
Lecture 504
The Story of Chinese Character : 嗅
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The Story of Chinese Character : 嗅
嗅 is composed of 口(a mouth) and 臭(stink). Besides the nose, mouth is also an organ which can distinguish smell. On the other hand, 臭 originally means smell or scent, so 口 and 臭 are combined together to represent the action of smelling or sense of smell.
Lecture 505
The Story of Chinese Character : 愛
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The Story of Chinese Character : 愛
愛 is composed of 受(the picture of one hand handing over something to another hand)and 心(heart) while the heart stays between two hands. 愛 depicts someone giving his heart to another one, such behavior means love. Now in simplified Chinese, love is written as 爱, which has no 心(heart) between two lover's hands. Without heart, can we still call it love?
Lecture 506
The Story of Chinese Character :璜
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The Story of Chinese Character :璜
璜 is composed of the radical of 玉(jade) and 黃(a man who is wearing a string of big pendants). 璜 means a string of pendants which were made of jade.
Lecture 507
The Story of Chinese Character :廣
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The Story of Chinese Character :廣
廣 depicts a man who is wearing a string of big jade pendants on his neck(黃), and he is standing inside a house. In ancient China, only upper class could wear such jade pendants, the house of an upper class must be big.
Lecture 508
The Story of Chinese Character :裔
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The Story of Chinese Character :裔
裔 is composed of 衣(a clothes) and 冏(a cave). In ancient China, both clothes and the residency were the most valuable property which can be passed on descendants.
Lecture 509
The Story of Chinese Character :躲
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The Story of Chinese Character :躲
躲 is composed of 身(human trunk) and 朵(the origin of 躲, depicts somebody hiding on the treetop). Trunk is the biggest part of human body, it is the most difficult part to hide.
Lecture 510
The Story of Chinese Character :羨
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The Story of Chinese Character :羨
羨 is composed of 羊(a lamb) and 欠 with the radical of water(a dribbling man). When a man sees a delicious lamb, he dribbles and envies the one who can eat it.
Lecture 511
The Story of Chinese Character :霍
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The Story of Chinese Character :霍
霍 is composed of雨(rain) and隹(a little bird). Once it rains, the little bird will be scared and fly away quickly, so 霍 is used to describe the condition of suddenness.
Lecture 512
The Story of Chinese Character :睛
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The Story of Chinese Character :睛
晴 is composed of 目(an eye) and 青(the picture of grass next to a well, means the colour of green, blue and black). 睛 represents the pupils of our eyeballs, which are black in colour.
Lecture 513
The Story of Chinese Character :褱
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The Story of Chinese Character :褱
褱 is composed of 衣(clothes) and the simplified form of 眾( crowd, means 'a lot of things'). A lot of organs are wrapped inside the human body which looks like our body wrapped inside a clothes, so 褱 is used to describe something hiding inside our body or bosom, but now we use 懷 instead.
Lecture 514
The Story of Chinese Character :歃
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The Story of Chinese Character :歃
歃 is composed of 臿(the picture of a pestle thrusting into a mortar)and 欠(lack, the picture of a man opening his mouth). Ancient Chinese smeared their mouth with animal's blood when taking oath, in order to show the faith. 臿 represents thrusting, if we want to get the blood from the animal, we need to stab its skin, so 歃 which is composed of 臿 and 欠, means an ancient Chinese oath.
Lecture 515
The Story of Chinese Character :孵
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The Story of Chinese Character :孵
孵 is composed of 卵(eggs) and 孚(a child being comforted by a hand). Birds are oviparous, eggs are their babies, birds comfort their babies by hatch.
The pronunciation of 孵 and 孚 is the same.
Lecture 516
The Story of Chinese Character :監
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The Story of Chinese Character :監
監 is composed of 臣(the picture of a big and popped eye), 人(a man's body) and 皿(a basin which is usually used for holding water). 監 depicts someone staring at the basin, before the invention of mirror, ancient Chinese used the basin of water to reflect their own images, so 監 also meant mirror in the past, but such meaning was then replaced by 鑑, now 監 solely means looking at something intensely.
Lecture 517
The Story of Chinese Character :學
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The Story of Chinese Character :學
學 is composed of a picture of practicing divination and 子(a child). Ancient Chinese respect nature, if it is difficult to make a decision, they will practice divination, and 爻 amid is lines of the Eight Diagrams(八卦), also, since divination is a holy ritual, it is practiced on a table. The picture of practicing divination is composed of two hands, 爻 and a table. Children are still young and not intellectual yet, and divination is complicated, they have a lot to learn.
Lecture 518
The Story of Chinese Character :壆
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The Story of Chinese Character :壆
壆 is composed of a picture of practising divination and 土(mud). With a view to showing respect, divination is performed on a platform in higher level, and such platform is piled by mud.
Lecture 519
The Story of Chinese Character :睪
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The Story of Chinese Character :睪
睪 is composed of 目(an eye) and 羊(the picture of a goat head). In 睪, 目 should be 自( the picture of a nose), but when such HanZi evolved to Seal Character(小篆), it was mistakenly written as目. Goat has special odor, which is easy to distinguish, so睪 has the meaning of clearness, discernment and emission. On the other hand, only mature male goat has such odor, 睪 is also used to describe the sex organ of male.
Both睪 and 睾 come from the same origin, but睾 only means male sex organ.
Lecture 520
The Story of Chinese Character :睾
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The Story of Chinese Character :睾
睾 is composed of自( the picture of a nose) and 羊(the picture of a goat head). Goat has special odor, and only mature male goat has such odor, so 睪 is used to describe the sex organ of male.
Both睾and 睪come from the same origin, but睾 only means male sex organ.
Lecture 521
The Story of Chinese Character :擇
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The Story of Chinese Character :擇
擇 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 睪(t the picture of a nose smelling a goat). You need hand to pick a choice, when you find it clear.
Lecture 522
The Story of Chinese Character :德
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The Story of Chinese Character :德
德 is composed of 彳(a picture of a road, means going to some place or doing something) and 悳(virtue). Both 悳 and 德 share the same meaning, with a view to emphasizing honesty is a way of how we deal with the others, 彳is added.
Lecture 523
The Story of Chinese Character :網
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The Story of Chinese Character :網
網 is composed of 糸(silk or string) and 罔(means 'nothing' or 'to deceive', the picture of a fugitive getting caught by a net). The net is woven by strings.
Lecture 524
The Story of Chinese Character :碎
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The Story of Chinese Character :碎
碎 is composed of 石(stone) and 卒(the picture of a clothes with a cross marking on the end of its Chinese style collar, means 'the end' or 'small'). Small stones is the fragment of a big rock.
Lecture 525
The Story of Chinese Character :粹
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The Story of Chinese Character :粹
粹 is composed of 米(rice) and 卒(the picture of a clothes with a cross marking on the end of its Chinese style collar, means 'the end' or 'small'). Ancient Chinese used sifter to sift out the sands and shells from their cereals, also, a Chinese style collar is V shape, so 卒 has the meaning of 'sieving', 粹 is the sifted(卒) rice(米), it is 'pure' and 'the best'.
Lecture 526
The Story of Chinese Character :維
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The Story of Chinese Character :維
維 is composed of 糸 and 隹, represents a bird is tied with string. A bird cannot fly away if it is tied with string, so 維 has the meaning of keeping or connecting.
Lecture 527
The Story of Chinese Character :端
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The Story of Chinese Character :端
端is composed of 立(the picture of a standing man) and 耑(the picture of long hair and long beard). An elder male has long hair and long beard, ancient China is an andro-centric society, elder males are respected, so they need to be respectful. In addition, a standing object can be seen as an prominent tip, so 端 also has the meaning of the top and the end.
Lecture 528
The Story of Chinese Character :需
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The Story of Chinese Character :需
需 is composed of 雨(rain) and 而(the picture of human facial hair). In ancient China, a grown man must grow his facial hair, and such facial must be smooth and pendent as the dropping of rain, so besides the meaning of need or necessity(such interpretation is same as 須), 需 also has the meaning of an elder and smoothness, but such two meanings have been replaced by 儒 and 懦 respectively.
Lecture 529
The Story of Chinese Character : 儒
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The Story of Chinese Character : 儒
儒 is composed of the BuShou of人(a man) and 需(means need, it is originated from facial hair which is smooth and pendent as the dropping of rain). Etiquette is a must of civilization, the one who knows etiquette is always the elder with beard. Confucianists value etiquette, so they call themselves儒.
Lecture 530
The Story of Chinese Character : 彈
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The Story of Chinese Character : 彈
彈 is composed of弓(a bow) and 單(the picture of a slingshot). Both slingshot and bow are instruments for shooting, so besides shooting or springing, 彈 is also used to represent the projectile such as bullet.
Lecture 531
The Story of Chinese Character : 憚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 憚
憚 is composed of the BuShou of心(heart) and 單(the picture of a slingshot). Slingshot is a weapon for shooting, enemies will feel frightened if they are aimed by it.
Lecture 532
The Story of Chinese Character : 戰
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The Story of Chinese Character : 戰
戰 is composed of單(a slingshot) and 戈(dagger-axe). Both slingshot and dagger-axe are weapons, so戰 has the meaning of fight or battle.
Lecture 533
The Story of Chinese Character : 瑞
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The Story of Chinese Character : 瑞
端 is composed of the BuShou of 玉(jade) and 耑(the picture of long hair and long beard). An elder male has long hair and long beard, the medical knowledge is deficient in ancient time, people die young, so longevity is precious as jade, and also auspicious.
Lecture 534
The Story of Chinese Character : 煓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 煓
煓 is composed of the BuShou of火(fire) and 耑(the picture of long hair and long beard). An elder male has long hair and long beard, when fire become fierce, the flame looks like long hair and long beard.
Lecture 535
The Story of Chinese Character : 輀
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The Story of Chinese Character : 輀
輀 is composed of 車(a car) and而(the picture of human facial hair). The smoothness of wheels is important for the running of a car, so 輀 is used to describe something soft and smooth. On the other hand, with a view to mourning the dead, hearse need to move slowly and softly, so 輀 means hearse.
Lecture 536
The Story of Chinese Character : 輭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 輭
輭 is composed of車(car) and耎(facial hair soft and smooth as the stretching limbs of a man).耎 is used to describe something which is soft and smooth, the smoothness of wheels is important for the running of a car, we have '安車輭輪(stable car, smooth wheels)' in ancient books.
Lecture 537
The Story of Chinese Character : 綑
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The Story of Chinese Character : 綑
綑 is composed of 糸(the picture of a coil, means string or rope) and 困(the picture of an tree being surrounded by an enclosure), which has the meaning of tying and binding.
Lecture 538
The Story of Chinese Character : 鼻
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鼻
鼻 is composed of 自(the picture of human nose) and 畀(an arrow with big arrowhead). Nose is prominent and also the midpoint of our face, looks like the target of an arrow, so 畀 is used to represent nose.
Lecture 539
The Story of Chinese Character : 夢
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The Story of Chinese Character : 夢
夢 is composed of 夕(the picture of moon), a variant of 目(an eye), a variant of爿(bed) and a variant of two hands(but it has been replaced by the BuShou of 艸). The upper part of夢 depicts a man sleeping on a bed, but such picture has been replaced by the picture of rubbing eyes which represent the act of waking up from a dream. On the other hand, since most people sleep at night, so夕 is added.
Lecture 540
The Story of Chinese Character : 瞢
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The Story of Chinese Character : 瞢
瞢is composed of 目(an eye), a variant of 目(an eye), a variant of爿(bed) and a variant of two hands(but it has been replaced by the BuShou of 艸). The upper part of瞢depicts a man sleeping on a bed, but such picture has been replaced by the picture of rubbing eyes which represent the act of waking up from a dream. On the other hand, when someone has just woke up, he cannot see clearly, so目is added, to represent obscurity.
Lecture 541
The Story of Chinese Character : 僅
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The Story of Chinese Character : 僅
僅 is composed of the BuShou of人(a man) and堇(the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, our steps are small, so 堇 is used to describe something in small quantity. On the other hand, human body is precious, our action should be as few as we can, only move when we should.
Lecture 542
The Story of Chinese Character : 嘆
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The Story of Chinese Character : 嘆
嘆 is composed of 口(mouth) the simplified form of 難(appears as the variant of 堇, the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, so 堇 has the meaning of difficult, when someone faces difficulty, he will sigh.
Both嘆 and歎 have the same meaning and pronunciation.
Lecture 543
The Story of Chinese Character : 歎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 歎
歎 is composed of the simplified form of 難(appears as the variant of 堇, the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud) and 欠(the picture of someone opening his mouth). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, so 堇 has the meaning of difficult, when someone faces difficulty, he will sigh. Both 歎and 嘆have the same meaning and pronunciation.
Lecture 544
The Story of Chinese Character : 漢
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The Story of Chinese Character : 漢
漢 is composed of the BuShou of 水(speech) and the simplified form of 難(appears as the variant of 堇, the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, so 堇 has the meaning of difficult. From Bronze Script(金文), we learn that both 漢 and 灘 come from the same origin. Han River(漢水), the longest tributary of Yangtze River, its upriver is HanZhong Basin, created by the deposition of sediment, its downriver has a lot of sandbanks, which is difficult for water to flow smoothly, so 堇 is used to describe it.
On the other hand, 漢 also means male, which starts from Han(漢) Dynasty. Han Dynasty is one of the strongest and most prosperous period in China, other countries are scared when they hear the name of Han's soldiers, so they call Han's soldiers "Hau Han"(good guy), and also use漢 to name the main tribe in China.
Lecture 545
The Story of Chinese Character : 跟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 跟
跟is composed of the BuShou of足(foot) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back). When someone is twisting his head and staring backward, he must be attracted by something, and he wants to follow it by his feet.
Lecture 546
The Story of Chinese Character : 爾
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The Story of Chinese Character : 爾
爾 depicts several arrows pointing in one direction. Several arrows shoot towards the same target, it is hardly missed, so 爾 is used to describe something full, overflowing or near, but such meaning has been replaced by 彌 and 邇.
爾 is the picture of arrows, which look like a sign of indicating a direction, so爾 is used to represent person being addressed(you), but now we use你 instead.
On the other hand, 爾 was also used as interjection in the past, but now we seldom use it.
Lecture 547
The Story of Chinese Character : 盟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盟
盟 is composed of 明(brightness) and 皿(a dish-like container). In ancient China, when vassals make a pledge in order to form an alliance, they need blood to show seriousness, so a container is needed. On the other hand, pledge is built upon faith, the hearts of both sides need to be bright as the sun and the moon.
Lecture 548
The Story of Chinese Character : 廉
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The Story of Chinese Character : 廉
廉 is composed of the BuShou of 广(the picture of a big house) and 兼(the picture of a hand holding two standing grains, means concurrent,). 廉 depicts two standing grains being stored in a warehouse, the harvest is great so the price is low, so 廉 is used to describe something in low price or someone frugal. On the other hand, when a government official is frugal in his life, it means he is honest and not greedy.
Lecture 549
The Story of Chinese Character : 閘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 閘
閘 is composed of門(door) and 甲. 甲 is the picture or tortoiseshell, its shape looks like a box or cage, which is used to describe something being enclosed. Door has the meaning of entrance or exit, so閘 means gate.
Lecture 550
The Story of Chinese Character : 蒦
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The Story of Chinese Character : 蒦
蒦 is composed of 萑and 又. 萑is the picture of a bird hiding in a bush of reeds, while又 depicts a hand, so 蒦 has the meaning of catching, but such meaning has been replaced by 獲, now we seldom use 蒦.
Lecture 551
The Story of Chinese Character : 煩
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The Story of Chinese Character : 煩
煩 is composed of 火(fire) and 頁(means page, the picture of human head). When a man feel worried, his mind will become messy, like his head burning in fire.
Lecture 552
The Story of Chinese Character : 盥
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盥
盥 is composed of水(water), 皿(a container, the picture of a basin) and two variants of 手(hand). 盥 is a picture of two hands washing by water in a basin.
Lecture 553
The Story of Chinese Character : 墓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 墓
暮 is composed of 土(mud) and 莫, 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass. The sun goes down at sunset, looks like life going to the end, and also, ancient Chinese use interment, so 墓 means a place which is used to bury the dead.
Lecture 554
The Story of Chinese Character : 摹
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The Story of Chinese Character : 摹
摸 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 莫, 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass. The sun goes down, light dims so its shape appears and can be drawn by hand, so 摹 means copy, its meaning is similar to 模.
Lecture 555
The Story of Chinese Character : 摸
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The Story of Chinese Character : 摸
摸 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and莫, 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass. The sun goes down and almost reaches the horizon, even a hand can touch.
Lecture 556
The Story of Chinese Character : 暮
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The Story of Chinese Character : 暮
暮 is composed of 日(the sun) and 莫, 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, it has already had the meaning of dusk. On the other hand, 暮 is also used to describe something late or almost finished.
Lecture 557
The Story of Chinese Character : 模
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The Story of Chinese Character : 模
模 is composed of 木(wood) and莫. 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset, everything become obscure which actual shape is difficult to be seen, 莫 has already had the meaning of roughness. On the other hand, ancient Chinese use wood as the major material to build a house or make utensils, a wood can be sculpted as utensils in different shape, so模 is used to describe something obscure or with a rough shape.
Lecture 558
The Story of Chinese Character : 膜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 膜
膜 is composed of the BuShou of肉 and莫. 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset, everything become obscure like being covered by a membrane, so膜 means membrane, a thin, soft and translucent piece of meat.
Lecture 559
The Story of Chinese Character : 寞
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The Story of Chinese Character : 寞
寞 is composed of 宀 and 莫. 宀 is the picture of an ancient house, while 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset and will be gone very soon, a man stays at home and waits for the darkness, so lonely.
Lecture 560
The Story of Chinese Character : 漠
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The Story of Chinese Character : 漠
漠is composed of the BuShou of 水and 莫. 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset and will be gone very soon, so 莫 also has the meaning of dried up or exhausted. Water is the spring of life, all creatures needs water, the place will be barren and deserted.
Lecture 561
The Story of Chinese Character : 照
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The Story of Chinese Character : 照
照is composed of the BuShou of火(fire) and昭, both火 and昭 has the meaning of brightness and light.
Lecture 562
The Story of Chinese Character : 禔
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The Story of Chinese Character : 禔
禔is composed of the BuShou of示(to reveal) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of going upward the light or something good, 示 is the picture of an altar, which is used to describe something about the supreme being(god). Ancient Chinese believe that both disaster and happiness are determine by God, so禔 means well-being.
Lecture 563
The Story of Chinese Character : 僰
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The Story of Chinese Character : 僰
僰 is composed of 棘(thorn bushes) and 人(man). South-western China is bushy and full of thorns, so 僰 is used to represent a small minority population(Bo) in South-western China.
Lecture 564
The Story of Chinese Character : 導
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The Story of Chinese Character : 導
導 is composed of 寸(depicts an arm with a stroke pointing at wrist, means inch) and道(Road).道 means road, while寸 also means the location on wrist over the radical artery where pulse is taken in traditional Chinese medicine, according to Traditional Chinese medicine, pulse is one of the main indicator of health, therefore, both道 and寸 have the meaning of guiding or conducting.
Lecture 565
The Story of Chinese Character :慫
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The Story of Chinese Character :慫
慫 is composed of心(heart) and 從(to go after). Ancient Chinese think that heart is the organ which control thought and emotion, so 慫 has the meaning of provoking others to follow you, means instigation.
Lecture 566
The Story of Chinese Character :鳴
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The Story of Chinese Character :鳴
鳴 is composed of 口(mouth) and鳥(bird). Mouth is the body part which makes voice, bird is good at singing, so 鳴 means bird’s chirp, and is also used to represent any vocalisation.
Lecture 567
The Story of Chinese Character :餚
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The Story of Chinese Character :餚
餚 is composed of the BuShou of 食(to eat) and 肴(cooked meat and fish). Meat and fish are delicious.
Lecture 568
The Story of Chinese Character :幕
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The Story of Chinese Character :幕
幕 is composed of莫 and 巾. 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset, everything become obscure like being covered by a cloth, so 幕 means curtain.
Lecture 569
The Story of Chinese Character :冪
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The Story of Chinese Character :冪
冪 is composed of 冖 and幕. 冖 is the picture of a cover, while 幕 means curtain, can be used as a cover also.
Lecture 570
The Story of Chinese Character: 獄
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The Story of Chinese Character: 獄
獄 is composed of one 犬(a dog) and its BuShou while 言(speech) is in between, two dogs is barking. In ancient China, the door of prison was guarded by two dogs.
Lecture 571
The Story of Chinese Character : 暗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 暗
暗 is composed of 日(the sun) and 音(sound), the sun is the most common natural luminary in the world, without the sun(in other word, when the environment is dark), we can only discern our direction by sound, the shape of 暗 clearly pointed out our situation when we are in the dark.
Lecture 572
The Story of Chinese Character : 磊
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The Story of Chinese Character : 磊
磊 is composed of three 石(stone, rock), which represents a heap of stones. A heap of stones is different from sand dune and mound, even though the stones pile up, the stones can still be seen clearly.
Lecture 573
The Story of Chinese Character : 親
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The Story of Chinese Character : 親
親 is composed of the variant of 辛(the picture of a chisel )and 見(to see). The variant of 辛 depicts a wood being broken by a chisel, when someone chisels a wood, he need to get close and look clearly , so 親 is used to describe something close and intimate.
Lecture 574
The Story of Chinese Character : 話
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The Story of Chinese Character : 話
話 is composed of 言(ear) and 舌. 舌 in there is actually the simplified combination of 氏(surname) and 口(mouth), 氏 depicts a bowing man, which has the meaning of lowering, our mouth will be bigger if we lower it(chin). When we speak, we need to open our mouth widely.
Annotation: The combination of 氏(surname) and 口(mouth) is an old HanZi, now it is no longer used, Shuowen Jiezi(說文解字) said this word means ‘stuffed mouth’, it is wrong.
Lecture 575
The Story of Chinese Character : 諟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 諟
諟is composed of 言(speech) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of chasing light or something correct, which someone is doing something wrong, others will urge or advise him by speech, so諟 means examining or judging something.
Lecture 576
The Story of Chinese Character :韶
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The Story of Chinese Character :韶
韶 is composed of音(sound) and 召, the original form of 召 is the picture of two hands holding a spoon and taking up wine from a wine bottle to a bowl, depicts master(most likely an emperor) serving his guest(most likely the feudal barons) in ancient China. With a view to maintaining good relation with his feudal barons, the emperor in ancient China need to hold banquet and dine with them, those banquets are always accompanied with music, since it is an emperor’s banquet, the music must be beautiful.
Lecture 577
The Story of Chinese Character : 駁
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The Story of Chinese Character : 駁
駁 is composed of 馬(Horse) and 爻(single and divided lines specified in The Book of Changes(易經)). 爻 depicts the intersected bamboo sticks for divination, represents intersected lines. Horse is difficult to be tamed but runs fast, once lost, the owner need to recognize which is which by the mottle of its body. On the other hand, intersected lines also means different opinion, someone will refute the others when he heard different opinion.
Lecture 578
The Story of Chinese Character : 駮
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The Story of Chinese Character : 駮
駮 is composed of 馬(horse) and 交(intersection). 交 depicts a man with crossed legs, represents the intersection of two lines, which has the meaning of chaos , disorder, refutation and violation. The pronunciation and meaning of 駮 are same as駁, they are variants.
Lecture 579
The Story of Chinese Character : 憂
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The Story of Chinese Character : 憂
憂 is composed of 頁(the picture of head), 心(heart) and the variant of 又. Sorrow is a state of mind, ancient Chinese think that state of mind is dominated by (will affect)head and heart. 又 is a phonetic symbol only, which is same as 止 in 齒, points out the pronunciation, without any meaning.
Lecture 580
The Story of Chinese Character :劃
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The Story of Chinese Character :劃
劃 is composed of 畫(to draw, picture) and the BuShou of 刀(knife). 畫 depicts a hand holding a pen drawing the borders of fields, which has already had the meaning of planning or delimitation, a knife is a tool for cutting or dividing, the division of a field can be seen as planning or delimitation.
Lecture 581
The Story of Chinese Character : 盡
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The Story of Chinese Character : 盡
盡 is composed of the variant of 聿 and 皿(container), 聿 depicts a hand holding a broom, sweep away all dust and ash in the container.
Lecture 582
The Story of Chinese Character : 儘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 儘
儘 is composed of the BuShou of 人(man) and 盡, 盡 depicts a hand holding a broom, sweep away all dust and ashes in the container, dust can be hardly seen, the container will be thoroughly clean of the dust is cleared, so 盡 has the meaning of extremity or entirety.
On the other hand, since dust is so tiny, man brooms the dust in a casual manner, so儘 has the meaning of ‘as one please’.
Lecture 583
The Story of Chinese Character : 嫁
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The Story of Chinese Character : 嫁
嫁 is composed of 女(woman) and 家(home). In ancient China, the social position of female is quite low, for woman, marriage is only a way to get a home, so 嫁 means a woman getting married.
Lecture 584
The Story of Chinese Character : 諷
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The Story of Chinese Character : 諷
諷 is composed of 言(speech, to talk) and 風(wind).If someone use euphemistic speech to advise or satirize, the listener will understand gradually, like the wind swaying on something, which is an invisible force.
Lecture 585
The Story of Chinese Character : 碰
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The Story of Chinese Character : 碰
碰 is composed of石(rock, stone) and並(together, to combine). 並 depicts two people standing together, while stones are hard, if two stones are put together, they will hit each other.
Lecture 586
The Story of Chinese Character : 聚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 聚
聚 is composed of 取(to get, to take) and the variant of 众(crowd). 取 depicts an ear being picked by a hand, it is the picture of soldiers cutting the ears of the captives as their trophies, while 众 has the meaning of assembling or gathering, with a view to getting reward, soldiers will kill more enemies and collect more ears.
Lecture 587
The Story of Chinese Character : 電
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The Story of Chinese Character : 電
電 is composed of 雨(rain) and the variant of 申(to stretch). 申 is the picture of lightning, and lightning only happens in rainy day.
Lecture 588
The Story of Chinese Character : 鼓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鼓
鼓 is composed of 壴 and 支(branch). 壴 is the picture of a drum hanging on a rack, 支 depicts a hand holding a branch, which means beating the drum by drum stick.
Lecture 589
The Story of Chinese Character : 解
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The Story of Chinese Character : 解
解 is composed of 角(horn), 刀(knife) and 牛(cow). We can use a knife to cut off the horns from a cow.
On the other hand, in Oracle Script(甲骨文) , 解 is composed of 角,
Lecture 590
The Story of Chinese Character : 賊
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The Story of Chinese Character : 賊
賊 is composed of 貝(shell) and 戎(weapon, military matters) but from Bronze Script(金文) and Seal Script(小篆), we learn that the original form of 賊 should be composed of 則(principle) and 戈(spear). The original meaning of 賊 should be someone who destroy rule and do something illegal, the later 賊 which is composed of 貝 and 戎, represents fetching the property of the other people by force, ancient Chinese use shell as currency, so 貝 has the meaning of assets or property.
V. 17 to 20 strokes
Lecture 591
The Story of Chinese Character : 趣
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The Story of Chinese Character : 趣
趣 is composed of 走 and 取. 走 depicts a man running, while 取 is the picture of a hand fetching an enemy’s ear after the soldier killed his enemy, since the soldier still in the battlefield, he must do it quick, so 趣 is used to describe something urgent or fast.
On the other hand, victory in war is a kind of pleasure, but pleasure always leave fast, so 趣 also has the meaning of happiness.
Lecture 592
The Story of Chinese Character : 鼎
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鼎
鼎 depicts an ancient Chinese cooking cauldron with rounded body, two looped handles and three or four legs.
Lecture 593
The Story of Chinese Character : 鼐
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鼐
鼐 is composed of 乃 and 鼎. 鼎 is the picture of an ancient Chinese cooking cauldron, while 乃 depicts a rope, which has the meaning of pulling and abundance, so 鼐 means a big cauldron.
Lecture 594
The Story of Chinese Character : 窩
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The Story of Chinese Character : 窩
窩 is composed of 穴(cave, hole) and 咼(the picture of a skull and a mouth). 咼 has the meaning of concavity, so 窩 means cave or hole.
Lecture 595
The Story of Chinese Character : 滑
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The Story of Chinese Character : 滑
滑 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 骨(bone). Bone is hairless and poreless, which is smooth as the still water.
Lecture 596
The Story of Chinese Character : 過
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The Story of Chinese Character : 過
過 is composed of the BuShou of 辵 and 咼(the picture of a skull and a mouth). 咼 has the meaning of concavity, while 辵 means walking on the road, if there is a hole in front of us while we are walking, we will step over it.
on the other hand, Confucianism in ancient China doctrine of the mean middle or appropriateness(中庸), stepping over can be seen as a trespass or fault, so 過 also means making mistake.
Lecture 597
The Story of Chinese Character :蟲
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The Story of Chinese Character :蟲
蟲 is composed of three 虫, since insects always appear in groups, while three means many in ancient China. Both 蟲 and 虫 share the same pronunciation and meaning.
Lecture 598
The Story of Chinese Character : 豐
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The Story of Chinese Character : 豐
豐 is composed of one ritual container(豆) and several plants(crops) with luxuriant branches and leaves(丰). Ancient Chinese used to put several 丰 in 豆 to pray for abundant harvest.
Lecture 599
The Story of Chinese Character :懷
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The Story of Chinese Character :懷
懷 is composed of the BuShou of 心(heart) and 褱(bosom, the origin of 懷, which is composed of 衣 and 眾, represents something being wrapped by a cloth). In the concept of ancient Chinese, heart is the most important organ in human bosom, so the BuShou of 心 is added next to 褱 in order to emphasize the function of 懷: to protect our heart.
Lecture 600
The Story of Chinese Character :壞
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The Story of Chinese Character :壞
壞 is composed of 土(mud) and 褱(bosom, the origin of 懷, which is composed of 衣 and 眾, represents something being wrapped by a cloth). Bad guy has no heart inside his body(懷) but mud instead, so 壞 is used to describe something or someone rotten.
Lecture 601
The Story of Chinese Character :臨
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The Story of Chinese Character :臨
臨 is composed of 臣 (the picture of an popped eye out of reverence), 人(a man's body) and 品(the picture of three objects), it is a picture of an eye overlooking something. When someone wants to get a good view(to see all three objects), he needs to stay at a higher position and looks from there.
On the other hand, if someone want to overlook, he needs to get close to those objects he wants to see, so 臨 also describe something which is near or be about to, and has the meaning of arrival.
Lecture 602
The Story of Chinese Character :霝
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The Story of Chinese Character :霝
霝 is composed of 雨(rain) and three 口(mouth). 霝 depicts several witches praying(singing) for rain, so 霝 is used to describe something spiritual, but now we use 靈 instead but seldom use 霝.
On the other hand, 霝 also means the lattice of the window, when it rains(雨) , people will close the windows. Before the invention of window glass, as substitute, ancient Chinese used porous(口) wooden lattice which was covered with paper. Now we use 櫺 or 欞 instead.
Lecture 603
The Story of Chinese Character :覺
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The Story of Chinese Character :覺
覺 is composed of a picture of practising divination and 見(to look). Actually, 覺 is originated from 爻 and 見, so the pronunciations of 覺 and 爻 are similar. Divination is abstract and not easy to be understood, learners won't know if there is narration only, once they have seen the demonstration, they will know what divination is. Another explanation, when ancient Chinese meet something unknown or unpredictable, they will practise divination, once they have seen(見) the result of divination(爻), they will know everything.
Lecture 604
The Story of Chinese Character :釋
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The Story of Chinese Character :釋
釋 is composed of 釆(the picture of a ripe spike of rice) and 睪(the picture of a nose smelling a goat). Both 釆 and 睪share the same meaning of clearness, emission and discernment, so beside these three meanings, 釋 also means analysis and explanation
Lecture 605
The Story of Chinese Character :羅
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The Story of Chinese Character :羅
羅 is composed of the BuShou of 网(net) and 維(to keep, the picture of a bird being tied by a string). A bird is tied by a string and covered by a net, it is impossible for it to fly away, so 羅 has the meaning of collecting.
Lecture 606
The Story of Chinese Character :懦
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The Story of Chinese Character :懦
懦 is composed of the BuShou of心(heart) and 需(facial hair smooth as rain). Here, 需 has the meaning of softness and smoothness, when someone heart is soft, he is weak in character.
Lecture 607
The Story of Chinese Character :濡
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The Story of Chinese Character :濡
濡 is composed of the BuShou of 水(water) and 需(facial hair smooth as rain). Rain drops, beard gets wet.
Lecture 608
The Story of Chinese Character :糯
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The Story of Chinese Character :糯
糯is composed of米(rice) and 需(facial hair smooth as rain). Here, 需 has the meaning of softness, so糯 means the soft and sticky glutinous rice.
Lecture 609
The Story of Chinese Character : 顓
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The Story of Chinese Character : 顓
顓 is composed of耑(the picture of long hair and long beard) and頁(the picture of a human head). An elder male has long hair and long beard, ancient China is an androcentric society, elder males are respected, so they need to be respectful. In addition, respectfulness is decided by someone's facial expression, facial expression can only be seen on head, so 顓 has the meaning of respectfulness and concentration.
Lecture 610
The Story of Chinese Character : 懵
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The Story of Chinese Character : 懵
懵 is composed of 心(heart) and 瞢(which is composed of the picture of someone rubbing eyes on bed and 目, means obscurity in sight). Ancient Chinese think that human mind is controlled by heart, so 懵 is used to describe the obscurity or muddle in our mind.
Lecture 611
The Story of Chinese Character : 難
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The Story of Chinese Character : 難
難 is composed of the variant of 堇(the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud) and隹(a small bird). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, it is not easy for a man to move, for a small bird, it is even worse. Such act is so difficult to do, it can be called a disaster.
Lecture 612
The Story of Chinese Character : 艱
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The Story of Chinese Character : 艱
艱is composed of the variant of 堇(the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud) and艮(the picture of a man twisting has neck and staring back), both actions are not easy to be done.
Lecture 613
The Story of Chinese Character : 雙
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The Story of Chinese Character : 雙
雙 is composed of two隹 (bird) and又(the picture of a right hand, means also). 雙depicts two birds being grabbed by a hand, so 隻 is used to describe something double.
Lecture 614
The Story of Chinese Character : 擭
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The Story of Chinese Character : 擭
擭 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and蒦. 蒦 depicts a hand catching a bird which is hiding in a bush of reeds, while human beings catch something by hands. 擭 means trap for catching animals, then generates the meaning of obtaining or catching, but now we seldom use it.
Lecture 615
The Story of Chinese Character : 獲
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The Story of Chinese Character : 獲
獲 is composed of the BuShou of 犬(dog) and蒦. 蒦 depicts a hand catching a bird which is hiding in a bush of reeds. Dog is proficient in hunting, when a man gets its help, he can catch the prey easily. 獲 means prey, then generates the meaning of obtaining or catching.
Lecture 616
The Story of Chinese Character : 彌
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The Story of Chinese Character : 彌
薾 is composed of 弓(bow) and 爾(the picture of several arrows pointing at one direction). When several arrows are shot at one direction, the target is easy to be hit and full of arrows, so 彌 is used to describe something full or scattered.
Lecture 617
The Story of Chinese Character : 薾
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The Story of Chinese Character : 薾
薾 is composed of the BuShou of 艸(grass) and 爾(the picture of several arrows being placed together). Several arrows being placed together, looks like colourful and crisscross grass which dazzle our eyes, so薾 is used to describe something beautiful and ostentatious.
Lecture 618
The Story of Chinese Character : 邇
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The Story of Chinese Character : 邇
邇 is composed of the BuShou of辵 and爾. 辵 depicts a foot walking on the street, while爾 is the picture of several arrows pointing at the same direction. Several arrows shot at the same time, the target is easy to get hit, the deviance is smaller, so 爾 is used to describe something or someplace which is closed and near.
Lecture 619
The Story of Chinese Character : 鮮
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鮮
鮮 is composed of魚(fish) and羊(goat). Ancient Chinese are used to eat raw fish and raw mutton, since both are delicious, so鮮 means fresh or delicious. On the other hand, fish and mutton are difficult to obtain, so鮮 also describe something rare.
Lecture 620
The Story of Chinese Character : 題
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The Story of Chinese Character : 題
題is composed of 首(head) and是. 是 depicts a foot walking toward the sun, which has the meaning of chasing something good and bright, while 首is the highest part of the body, so 題 is used to describe the first or most important part of something(especially an essay).
Lecture 621
The Story of Chinese Character : 縱
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The Story of Chinese Character : 縱
縱 is composed of糸(silk or thread) and 從(to go after). 糸 has the meaning of tying or restriction, 從 has already meant going along, so 縱means lack of restriction.
On the other hand, when someone follows another person, they will go vertically, so 縱 is also used to describe something vertical.
Lecture 622
The Story of Chinese Character : 蹤
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The Story of Chinese Character : 蹤
蹤 is composed of足(foot) and 從(to follow). The road were unpaved and covered by mud in the past, footprints were left easily so the latter one can follow, so蹤 means trace or footprint.
Lecture 623
The Story of Chinese Character :聳
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The Story of Chinese Character :聳
聳 is composed of耳(ear) and 從(to follow). Ear is erect, 從 depicts one man following another man, two men go vertically and form a straight line, so聳has the meaning of raising up, and is also used to describe something high.
Lecture 624
The Story of Chinese Character :孺
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The Story of Chinese Character :孺
孺 is composed of 子(heart) and 需(facial hair smooth as rain). 子 depicts a baby, while 需 has the meaning of obedience and weakness, so 孺 means child, and also means subordination.
Lecture 625
The Story of Chinese Character : 豐
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The Story of Chinese Character : 豐
豐 is composed of the variant of 壴 and two 丰. 壴 is the picture of a drum hanging on a rack, while 丰 depicts a tree planted on soil, two 丰 has the meaning of flourishing, the soil must be fertile if the plant grown there is flourishing, it is a great thing which worths celebrating by beating drum, since ancient China is an agricultural society.
Lecture 626
The Story of Chinese Character : 謨
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The Story of Chinese Character : 謨
謨 is composed of 言(speech) and莫. 莫 depicts the lowering sun being covered by grass, light dims at sunset, everything become obscure which actual shape is difficult to be seen, 莫 has already had the meaning of roughness. On the other hand, saying is easier than doing, so謨 has the meaning of plan or project, since before being done, plan or project are still intangible speech.
Lecture 627
The Story of Chinese Character : 謹
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The Story of Chinese Character : 謹
謹 is composed of 言(speech) and堇(the picture of a man who wears jade ornaments walking in mud). Jade ornaments is big and heavy, which will hinder the movement, the mud makes walking more difficult, we need to be careful, so 堇 has the meaning of carefulness and discretion. On the other hand, speech cannot change once spoken out, we must be extremely careful when we speak.
Lecture 628
The Story of Chinese Character : 擾
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The Story of Chinese Character : 擾
擾 is composed of the BuShou of 手(hand) and 憂(sorrow). 憂 is also used to describe the feeling of being bothered or disturbed, hand can touch and pick something, so 擾 mainly represents physical disturbance.
Lecture 629
The Story of Chinese Character : 燼
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The Story of Chinese Character : 燼
燼 is composed of 火(Fire) and 盡, 盡 depicts a hand holding a broom, sweep away all dust and ashes in the container, and fire can burn most of the things to ashes.
Lecture 630
The Story of Chinese Character : 鍘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鍘
鍘 is composed of 金(metal) and 則. 則 depicts a knife carving inscription on the cauldron, which has the meaning of rule and principle, since principle can be used as standard and help someone to make decision, it is clear as something being cut by a knife, on the other hand, knife is made of metal.
VI. 21 to 24 strokes
Lecture 631
The Story of Chinese Character :飆
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The Story of Chinese Character :飆
飊 is composed of 風(wind) 猋(to dash forward, depicts three dog chasing something together). Wind moves fast and so are three chasing dogs.
Lecture 632
The Story of Chinese Character :覽
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The Story of Chinese Character :覽
覽 is composed of 臣(the picture of an popped eye because of reverence), the variant of 直(the picture of an eye looking straight, and 見(see). 覧 has three eyes, which can view something clearer, so 覽 means look at something deeply and thoroughly.
Lecture 633
The Story of Chinese Character :鑑
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The Story of Chinese Character :鑑
鑑 is composed of 金(metal) and 監(a picture of an eye looking at the image reflected by a container, means supervising or watching something). Ancient Chinese used polished copper plates to reflect their own images, at that time, the mirrors were made of metal, so 鑑 meant mirror. However, now we use 鏡 instead to represent the meaning of mirror.
On the other hand, since the image shown on the metal mirror is clearer, 鑑 also means 'to study' or 'to examine'.
Lecture 634
The Story of Chinese Character : 轜
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The Story of Chinese Character : 轜
轜 is composed of車(a car) and 需(facial hair smooth as rain). The smoothness of wheels is important for the running of a car, so 轜 is used to describe something soft and smooth.
On the other hand, with a view to mourning the dead, hearse need to move slowly and softly, so 轜 means hearse.
Lecture 635
The Story of Chinese Character : 鬚
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The Story of Chinese Character : 鬚
鬚 is composed of髟 and 須. 須 is the picture of human facial hair, but then it generates the meaning of 'must' or 'need', so髟 is added to mean human beard specifically.
Lecture 636
The Story of Chinese Character : 灘
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The Story of Chinese Character : 灘
灘 is composed of the BuShou of 水(speech) and難(difficulty). Sandbank is deposition of sediments, as a block of the watercourse, it causes difficulty for the flow.
Lecture 637
The Story of Chinese Character : 護
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The Story of Chinese Character : 護
護is composed of言(speech, the picture of a man speaking) and蒦. 蒦 depicts a hand catching a bird which is hiding in a bush of reeds. Someone intends to catch a bird, while another man says something to scare away the bird, in order to protect the bird's life.
Lecture 638
The Story of Chinese Character : 囂
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The Story of Chinese Character : 囂
囂 is composed of four 口(mouth) and 頁(means page, the picture of human head). Many mouths speaking next to someone's head, so noisy.
Lecture 639
The Story of Chinese Character : 召(variant)
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The Story of Chinese Character : 召(variant)
The variant of 召.
Lecture 640
The Story of Chinese Character :護
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The Story of Chinese Character :護
護is composed of言(speech, the picture of a man speaking) and蒦. 蒦 depicts a hand catching a bird which is hiding in a bush of reeds. Someone intends to catch a bird, while another man says something to scare away the bird, in order to protect the bird’s life.
Lecture 641
The Story of Chinese Character : 蠱
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The Story of Chinese Character : 蠱
蟲 is composed of three虫(insert) and皿(a dish, container), which depicts the breeding of venomous insert. According to ancient Chinese legend, the ethnic minority in south-western China like to put several venomous inserts into an enclosed container, those inserts kill then eat each other, the survivor become the most venomous and will be used as poison. Therefore, besides venomous insect, 蠱 also means a kind of witchcraft.
Lecture 642
The Story of Chinese Character : 矗
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The Story of Chinese Character : 矗
矗 is composed of three 直(straight). 直 here has the meaning of going up straightly, ascends three times, goes higher and higher.
Lecture 643
The Story of Chinese Character : 驟
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The Story of Chinese Character : 驟
驟 is composed of 馬(horse) and 聚(to gather). Horse runs fast, which has the meaning of speediness, if a soldier wants to kill more enemies and collect more ears, he need to act fast and sudden.
VII. 25 to 28 strokes
Lecture 644
The Story of Chinese Character :黌
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The Story of Chinese Character :黌
黌is composed of a picture of practicing divination and 黃(the picture of a person with a big jade pendant). In ancient China, divination is an advanced knowledge, only nobles could learn and go to school, a big jade pendant(璜) was the symbol of nobles.