Monday, 15 January 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 鸣 | 鳴

Our character today is also related to 鸟, with an extra 口 added to create the combination: 鸣, whose Traditional version is 鳴.

What does 鸣 | 鳴 mean? We know that 鸟 is already the complete drawing of a bird. So 口 added should be used to emphasise the beak of 鸟. What the beak of a bird can do? Two major functions: "eat food" and "make sounds". Which one do you think it should be?

From we human being point of view, creating a dedicated character to represent the idea of a bird eating food does not make much sense, for that is not something special to a bird.

However many birds can sing melodiously which amuses people. That is something specially related to bird. Then it makes sense for Chinese ancestors to create 鸣 to represent such a special characteristic of 鸟 only. Let us listen to nice 鸣 of a certain bird below:

Yes, 鸣 means singing of a bird. for example : 鸟鸣

And it is eventually used to represent any nice, crisp and loud sounds like singing of bird. for example: 蛙鸣, 警钟长鸣.

Since birds sing to communicate with each other, 鸣 is then also used to mean "express someone's idea, thoughts or complains loudly", for example 百家争鸣, 鸣冤.

Now we know the meaning of 鸣 | 鳴. It is still worthy of going through its evolution history (image take from: as shown below:
evolution history of 鸣 | 鳴
That is all, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 鸣 | 鳴 inside:

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