Monday, 22 April 2019

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 牵 | 牽

Our character today 牵 is also related to 牛. Upper part of 牵 is kind of ambiguous. Its Traditional version 牽 provides more information, which contains 玄,  and 牛. As what we learnt with 丝 (, lower part of 玄 is related to silk: .  That is all we can get so far, ancient scripts of 牵 would help us as usual: (image taken from
Evolution history of 牵
Oracle script is quite obvious now, rope () is tied to a kind of nostril ring () to lead the buffalo ().

Seal Script represented the idea clearer: a hand () use a rope () to lead a buffalo ().

That is the original meaning of 牵 | 牽 - "lead along a buffalo".

Getting back to Tradition character 牽, which is 玄,  and 牛. now we can guess that could be ox yoke.

Ox Yoke
So 牵 | 牽 is used to mean lead along, for example 牵手.

Since 牵 | 牽 contains the representation of connecting with a buffalo using a rope. thus 牵 | 牽 is also extended to mean "connected to / connected with". For example 牵连.

That is all, let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 牵 | 牽 inside:

Monday, 8 April 2019

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 解

Our character today 解 is a quite complicated one related to 角 we just learnt, which can be dissected into 3 components that we know: 角 (horn), 刀 (knife) and 牛 (buffalo). What is the aggregated meaning of the combination: 解? Does it mean to use knife to cut the horn off the buffalo?

Let us see if any help we can get from its ancient scripts: (image taken from
Evolution history of 解
Its Oracle script is the drawing of two hands () taking away the horn () of a buffalo (). When it comes to Seal script ,  two hands () is replaced by a knife () to represent the idea clearer. which is indeed to cut the horn off the buffalo. this is 解's original meaning. For example 庖丁解牛.

Based on its original meaning, 解 is extended to mean dissect, break up or cut up. For example 解剖.

Since 解 contains the meaning of "to divide and separate parts of a buffalo", 解 is also used to mean untie. 解开.

Once the buffalo is finally dissected, it means the task is accomplished, 解 thus has meaning of resolve. for example 解决.

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