Saturday, 10 September 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 莫

As mentioned in our last lesson, today we are going to examine the character with its Oracle Script as . What is the meaning you have tried to figure out?

We have gotten to  know that  is grasses while  is the Sun. Looks like  draws the scene that Sun is in the grasses, which is shown below:
So  means "the Sun raises just above the grasses" or "the Sun sets into grasses"? With what we have learnt, there are characters for mornings as 旦 and 早.  here should be "the Sun sets into grasses", which is evening.

Let me check how  is eventually evolved into current way of writing - 莫. (image taken from
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 莫
We can see that at period of Clerical Script , lower  of was simplified to . and we finally get 莫.

Since sunsets means the Sun is gone and cannot be seen any more, 莫 was eventually borrowed to mean Not or Nothing or Nobody. After that Chinese ancestors then created a new one to represent evening on top of 莫.  If it was you, how would you create the new character?

Before we reveal the answer in our next lesson, let us enjoy today a Chinese calligraphy with 莫 inside:

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