Monday, 31 December 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 牢

Today we examine another character related to 牛: 牢. It is the drawing of a house roof (Radical 宀) with a buffalo (牛) inside. What is the meaning of 牢? Cattle-shed where a buffalo is locked in.
牢 - cattle shed

That is 牢's original meaning. 牢 is also extended to mean any places where prisoners or other animals is imprisonment. For example: 牢房.

Since 牛 is very important property of a family, which is a very strong animal, 牢 need to be built very firm and secure. that is why 牢 is further extended to mean firm and secure as well. For example 牢固.  The same meaning can be concluded from firmness and security a prison should have.

Before ending our study today, evolution history of 牢 would give us better understanding of this character: (image taken from
evolution history of 牢

Oracle script  is put  inside a (fence). When it comes to Seal script , Chinese ancestors added an extra  to lock the  inside properly.

That is all for 牢, let us enjoy a Chinese Seal Art with 牢 inside:


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 美

we have just learnt 羊, our character today is 美, which is composed of 羊 and 大. What does it mean here? well, offering a big and fat goat or sheep without blemish is a good and beautiful thing to God.
a big and fat goat

Before jumping to conclusion, let us examine its evolution history as usual: (image taken from
Evolution history of 美

From its Oracle script, it is believed to be composed of horn of a goat or sheep () and (大). It is further strengthen by its Seal script to write its top part as 羊. 

Please also note that some people believe of the Oracle script refers to decorations made of flowers or horn of a goat / sheep, which I disagree with.

Yes, 美 means good or beautiful, for example 美人.

美 can also be used to mean: to make something good or pretty, like beautify. For example 美化.

When we say something is 美, it is to praise it. 美 thus has the meaning of to praise or to extol, for example 赞美.

美 can also be used to represent anything that is good or pretty, for example 美中不足.

That is all for 美, time to enjoy a calligraphy with it inside:

Monday, 3 December 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 哞

Yes, the character that was created to replace the original meaning of 牟 is 哞, with an extra 口 added to 牟.

And yes 哞 means the sound made by a cow or buffalo: moo

 And enjoy a Chinese Seal art with 哞 inside: