Our character today is 牛, which is a pictograph character. Hard to guess what it is due to the transformation and simplification along the time. We will need the help from its ancient scripts.
Let us examine its revolution history as below: (image taken from http://vividict.com)
|Evolution history of 牛|
It is kind of clear that its Oracle script or is the stick figure of the head of a buffalo, comparing to the picture of a Buffalo below:
you might be wondering that how come we draw the whole body for 马, 龟, 鱼, 象 and other animals, but only head of a bull? the answer is that, same as other civilisations, 牛 is one of the major sacrifice Chinese offered while worshipping gods. Head of 牛 will be mainly used:
|Head of a Boffalo|
Yes, 牛 means bull, buffalo or cow, and any animal that looks similar to buffalo. for example: 野牛
Since 牛 has great strength and is the main labour force Chinese ancestor used for farming, 牛 is extended to mean very strong and powerful.
牛 sometimes can become very stubborn and not willing to listen to the commands of a farmer, thus 牛 also has the meaning of stubborn.
that is all for 牛, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 牛 inside:
our next character will be for sheep or goat, if it were you who was creating it, how would you do?