Saturday, 7 January 2017

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 开 | 開

Today we move on to another character related to 門 - 開, whose Simplified version is 开. 開 clearly demonstrates its relationship with 門.

What does 开 | 開 mean then? A bit hard with its current form. Let us see whether we can get some help from its ancient scripts:
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 开 | 開

From its Bronze script , we can see what the 闩 is being operated by two hands

, which is quite close to what we see in below picture:
So  refers to open or to close the door? That is ambiguous from how it was written. Chinese ancestors tried to make it clearer with its Seal Script - "horizontal bar is separated by hands to open the door". Starting from its Clerical Script  was simplified to  for writing convenience.

Yes, 开 | 開 means "to open".

And as the drawing of  also contains the meaning of "start to open the door", 開 means "to start" too.

Since we need to operate 闩 to open the door, 開 contains the meaning of "to operate" as well.

That is pretty much all for 开 | 開, now it is time for us to enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 开 | 開 inside:

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