Saturday, 4 August 2012

Learn one Chinese Character a day - "七"

Today, let us examine Chinese character "七". As what we have mentioned in our last topic for "刀", it means Seven. The question is why Chinese ancestors used "七" to mean Seven.

As usual, let us check "七" evolution history first (image get from ): 
Evolution History of "七"
In our previous lessons, we have known that "六" is created from its original meaning of "re-produce and multiply", while 六's Oracle Script has also kind of the shape of the belly of a pregnant woman.

So after Six - "六" (pregnancy) next stage is to deliver the baby. The most important moment is to cut the cord.

Look at its Oracle script -of "七" , it is to mean cutting the cord ("一") with a knife.

When time passes,  becomes too similar to Chinese number Ten "十", at age of Bronze script, the bottom of the  was bended to get , to differentiate it from "十". And after bending,  becomes , since then it looks like exactly a reaping hook.

As you can see that "七" contains the meaning of Cut, to differentiate the Cut with number Seven, Chinese ancestors added "刀" to "七" to mean Cut (with a knife) to create a new Chinese character - "切".

Now we know "七" means Seven.

Let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with "七" inside:

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