Sunday, 29 May 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 剪

Looking at our new character today - 剪, we can easily divide it into two parts: 前 and 刀. You might have wondered before that why scissors (剪) is somehow related to ahead (前)?

We have learnt 刀 long time ago, which means knife. While 前, which we just learnt, originally describes the scene that "a boat cut through the surface of water", as shown below:

The boat riding waves

What kind of cutting tool has similar effect while in usage? I guess you have got some ideas now.
Take a breath, we will reveal the answer after examine its evolution history first: (image taken from
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 剪
Now look at the image below, isn't the pattern similar of usage of scissors comparing to boating image above?
scissors cut paper

It is interesting to know that Seal Script of 剪 is same as that of 前 - . Chinese ancestors must noticed the similarity between boating and usage of scissors when they created 剪.

Yes, 剪 means scissors as noun, while it is used as a verb, it means use scissors to cut.

I guess it should now make more sense to you while you look at 剪? Anyway let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 剪 inside:


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