Thursday, 24 November 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 尽 | 盡

Our new character today has a very different Traditional version - 盡 than its Simplified version - 尽. This is another example why I like Traditional version more than the Simplified counterpart.

Though there are certain transfiguration comparing its Traditional version 盡 with its Oracle Script, 盡 is still quite clear of what it tells. Below is the evolution history of 盡 | 尽 (image taken from
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 尽 | 盡
Looking at its Oracle Script it is a vivid view of "using a brush to wash a container by hand ", as shown in below picture:
Its Seal Script presents a more vivid view of the same.

That is the original meaning of 盡. Now looking back at 盡 again, is not the current Traditional version 盡 preserves the same view still?

And we can also tell that the Simplified version 尽 is obviously inherited from its cursive script (草书, cǎoshū, literally "grass script") - 

While we start to clean a container, it means that everything in that container has been finished.
So 盡 | 尽 is used to mean finish as verb, or finish / end as noun.

related to 盡, there is another Chinese character 儘 (adding a 人 to 盡) or its Simplified version 侭 (adding a 人 to 尽), which means that a 人 has tried all his best or used up all his resources. Chinese ancestors eventually merged back 儘 to 盡 or 侭 into 尽.

Thus 盡 | 尽 now has the meaning of 儘 | 侭 that: (a 人) tried all his best or used up all his resources. And it is later extended to mean all

Before ending our lesson today, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 尽 |  盡 inside:

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