Sunday, 14 August 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 卉

Today we move to learn a Chinese character related to plants - 卉. It is hard to reason its meaning from its current form. Let us examine its ancient scripts to see whether we can get more ideas: (image taken from

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 卉
 Bronze script is composed of three is still too simple to tell us anything. Checking its Seal Script -, does not one of its components -look like that shown in the image below?

Yes, or its Seal Script variation represents grass. Recall that when Chinese ancestors draw three same components to form one character, they meant a lot of that. Like what we have learnt before 众, 焱, 森 and etc. So or  means a lot of grass. And eventually 卉 become a general term for all types of grasses.

And recall again what we have learnt in the lesson for 竹, Chinese ancestors noticed the special characteristics of 竹 that its leaves are spreading downwards as . Here for grasses, their leaves are spreading upwards as .

Remember that  or  represents grasses while they are used as Radical to form other Chinese characters. We have plenty of them piled up in the queue.

Now let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 卉 inside:

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