Monday, 25 June 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 戾

we have known the meaning of drawing 犬 under 穴 (a cave) - 突. What does it mean by drawing 犬 under 户 (door), which is our character today: 戾? 

Recall how 突 is created and its meaning, we can guess now what 戾 describes: the dog dashing out of a house or barking inside a house (to scare the strangers away to protect the house).

the difference is that 突 is describing the scene that dogs dashing out of cave (to catch their pray). while 戾 describes the scene that a dog guarding the house of its owner.

From this understanding, 戾 has an obvious meaning of dashing or charging to reach (somewhere).

And since the dog rushing out of house to bark fiercely towards the strangers,  戾 thus has the meaning of fierce or fiercely, depending whether it is used as adj or adv. Sometimes the dog attacks the strangers without reason, 戾 thus contains the meaning of offence

Dog barking at the door

and let us examine its evolution history to see if there is any more hints we can get. (image taken from:
evolution history of 戾
We can see that its Bronze script has two components: 立 () and 犬 (). it is to show the idea of a dog attacking or barking at the people who just stand there. That is probably the reason why 戾 pronounces exactly the same as 立.

Another bronze script contains the same component as its modern form 戾: 户 () and 犬 (). And its Seal Script  followed and  was abandoned.

The reason Chinese ancestors considered  a better representation of 戾 is probably that: a dog guarding the house shows the idea of 戾 better than a dog attacking / barking at a standing person.

And another reason could be that: drawing a person together with a dog () is very similar to 伏, thus was eventually abandoned and 戾 continued with .

That is all for 戾 and let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 戾 inside now:


No comments:

Post a Comment