Thursday, 29 September 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 寸

What is the meaning of our character today - 寸? Very hard to guess with its current form. Let us see whether we can find some clue from its ancient scripts: (image taken from
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 寸

As we can see that its Bronze Script or Seal Script is to draw an indicator dash to a hand . What does that mean? When a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor is seeing her patients, she would check their pulses at their wrist, as shown below. 
Diagnose by checking pulses 

That position of the wrist where we can feel the pulses is represented as . The distance between this position to palm, which is 寸, is eventually used as a measurement unit. 1 寸 is around 3.33 cm.

As you can see that 3.33cm is a quite short length, 寸 is so used to mean short. If we are talking about size, 寸 is to mean small,

That is all for 寸, we can now enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 寸 inside:

And we have prepared enough information to reason following Chinese character by looking at its Oracle Script: and Seal Script . We will reveal the answer in our next lesson. Please take your time to think about it.

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