Sunday, 26 February 2012

Learn one Chinese Character a day - "六"

We are still having a few numbers left to check. Currently we have already learnt "一" to "五". Today we will look at "六". It takes me quite some time to understand why our Chinese ancestors came out the idea that "六" means Six.

Here is most convincing explanation. "六" is a 假借字 (假借 jiǎjiè: Borrowing, in which a character is used, either intentionally or accidentally, for some entirely different purpose.) from "陆".
"陆" -Oracle script is  ,with its right hand side component. And "六" - is a simplified way of writing is to mean a land fully covered with plants and grasses. A fertile land with abundant plants is a place full of changing, growing, and evolving process.

As we have learnt from "三", three “一"s are to mean Sky, Earth and Anything in between. However each element should have a pair to re-produce and multiply so that everything in the universe can change, grow and evolve. So two times of "三", which is Six, contains the meaning of "changing, growing and evolving" of the universe.  "六" - Six, is borrowed from "" then simplified to  and we get what we are using today. And you will also no longer be surprised to see that Chinese sometimes use "陆" - to mean Six as well.

So ”六“ means Six.
"陆" means Land (In special scenarios, it also means Six). We can explain it in more detail when we get into this character "陆".

Let us see "六" evolution history - (image from
六 - Six
And let us see "陆" evolution history - (image from
陆 - Land / Six
As usual, we enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with "六" inside to end this lesson.
 In above picture, we should recognize "五", “六”, "月", "二", "日", "人", "三", "四".

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