Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day – 妻

We have just learnt Husband in Chinese, today we move to a new Chinese character "妻", which means wife.

How did Chinese ancestors create a Character to mean Wife? It is then necessary to examine its evolution history to admire the creativity shown by ancient Chinese. (screenshot taken from http://chinese-linguipedia.org ):
Learn one Chinese Character a day – 妻
Recall that we have learntmeans lady or girl, so Oracle Script is to mean that a lady uses her hand to tie up her hair .  Below is an image showing the process:
Tie up hair
In ancient China, when a lady was married, she would tie up her hair for the ceremony, and keep her hair tied up to show her marriage status, which is pretty much the same concept of wearing a marriage ring.

That is why was used to mean Wife by Chinese ancestors. Modern writing 妻 reserved most original drawing with a "女" at the bottom and (which is still showing the concept of handling something with hand) on top.

We have learnt "夫" in our last lesson and gotten to know how it was created. "夫妻" is to mean "Husband and Wife". As we can see that both "夫妻" would tie up their hair for the marriage. That is probably the reason for a commonly used phrase - "结发夫妻" where 结发 means "tie up hair" precisely.

Now it is time to end our lesson today with a Chinese calligraphy art:


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