Sunday, 24 September 2017

Learn one Chinese character a day - 删 | 刪

Today we continue to examine a new character related to 册, which is 删, whose traditional version is 刪.

We have learnt that 册 means books written on bamboo flakes, and means knife (刀), so what is the aggregated meaning of 删?

Using knife to do something to the books made of bamboo flakes? As we have know that Chinese ancestors used brush for writing, as shown below:
Kids writing on bamboo flakes using brush

Since knife is not used to write, it is used to scratch out those wrong or redundant characters.

So 删 means delete or remove.

Let us check its evolution history to confirm our reasoning: (image taken from

We can see from its Oracle script  (, which is 册 plus , which is 刀) that its representation has not been changed along history.

That is all for today, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 删 inside:

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