Thursday, June 15, 2017

Amazing Chinese Characters (156) Eight and Separate - 八,分

In English, there is no relationship between Eight and Separate, but there is close relationship between Chinese characters Eight and Separate. So I discuss them together.

The shell bone script for character Eight is


which was character Separate originally. We can understand why. One curve stroke on the left and another on the right, just like two separated halfs.

The small seal script for Eight is


similar to the shell bone script but very symmetrical.

The clerical script for Eight is


The current standard printing script is


very similar to its clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Ba1.

The character had been used for number eight as early as 3000 years ago. So people created a new character for Separate. Let's see its shell bone script,


We see the charater is character 八, plus a


which means Knife. Separate is using a knife to cut some thing to two parts. The new character is more like a verb, and original one is more like an adjective.

The big seal script for Separate is


The small seal script for Separate is


All are similar to shell bone script.

Its clerical script is


which has been used since 2000 years ago.

Its current standard printing script is


very similar to clerical script.

Its Pinyin is Fen1.

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