Monday, 11 March 2019

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 群

Now we move back to 羊 with our character today - 群. We now know both parts of this new character : 君 and 羊. Combining their together we have the scene described: (somebody) holding a stick and shout aloud to shepherd the herd of sheep.

So 群 has the meaning of a big group of 羊. Thus it is used to represent the meaning of a group. For example 羊群.

You might wonder why it is 君 plus a 羊, instead of adding to 君 with other animals like cows? I believe Chinese ancestors noticed a unique characteristics of sheep that they have strong instinct to gather together and blindly follow the leader. 

As you know, same Chinese Character can also be used as verb. It is same for 群 that it is used to mean "gather together to form a group". For example 群而不党.

Sometimes 群 is also used to mean together. For example 群居.

Before we end our study today, let us examine its evolution history as shown below (image taken from
Evolution of 群
Looking at its Oracle script , it is what we expected from its modern form - 群: a group of sheep  is shepherded under the command () of (a person) holing the stick .

That is all for 群, it is now time to enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 群 inside:

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