Monday, 28 January 2019

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 尹

Before studying our next character related to 羊, we shall detour to examine some other Chinese characters first to prepare ourselves. The character today is 尹. What does it mean?

尹 can be dissembled to  and丿. We already know that is drawing of a hand when we study 尽 | 盡 at

What does 丿represents? not very clear, let us check whether any help we can get from its ancient scripts: (image taken from
evolution history of 尹
 It is now obvious from its Bronze script  and Seal script  that 尹 is the drawing of "a hand  holding a ". What does  looks like? a staff or more precisely a scepter.

Starting from Clerical script   transformed into .

We have gotten he original representation of 尹: (someone) holding a scepter as a symbol of sovereignty or authority. 尹 is then used to mean the person with sovereignty or authority, like officers. For example an officer title 令尹.

It was a common practice for Chinese ancestors to adopt their official title as their new family name. And 尹 eventually became one of the popular 100 Chinese family names.

That is all for 尹, time to enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 尹 inside:

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