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zhōng
middle

=

口 + 丨
mouth + stick
Character Notes

a stick goes through the middle of something

Character Comparison

shǔ
mouse

=

臼 + 二二 + t
rib cage + “four feet” + “tail”
Character Notes

This is a dead mouse with the rib cage showing.

Character Comparison
Series

female, *woman

=

Character Notes

“女字旁”

Character Comparison

shēng
liter

=

千 + 十
thousand + ten/needle
Character Notes

a liter is a thousand mL, picture a liter bottle full of needles

Character Comparison

shēn
somebody

=

丶 +目 + 才
drop + eye + genie
Character Notes

a dancing eyeball with an antenna on its head (see pic); alternatively: 自 + 才 nose + genius, An aromachologist is somebody who is a nose genius.

Character Comparison

Fu, *injection

=

十 + 月 + 丶
needle + body part + drop
Character Notes

Dr. Fu puts a needle into your body part, only a drop of blood

Character Comparison

*rich man

=

一 + 口 + 田
one + mouth + field
Character Notes

greedy man: one mouth eats the whole field; derived from 富 fù wealthy

Character Comparison

piàn
slice [n.]

=

Character Notes
Character Comparison
爿pán slat

gào
declare

=

牛 + 口
cow + mouth
Character Notes

Chick-Fil-A cow declaring “Eat more chikin” OR cow saying: ”I do declare”

Character Comparison

shí
time

=

日 + 寸
sun + thumb
Character Notes

primitive sundial: holding up your thumb to see its shadow

Character Comparison

yǒu
*whiskey bottle

=

Character Notes

originally an ancient wine vessel

Character Comparison

huān
merry

=

又 + 欠
right hand + lack
Character Notes

This is Merry the pirate who lacks a right hand.

Character Comparison

pán
tray

=

舟 + 皿
boat + dish
Character Notes

gravy boat on a tray

Character Comparison

xián
salty

=

一 + 口 + 戊
one + mouth + cannon
Character Notes

one taste of something too salty and you spit it out like a cannon

Character Comparison
或huò or

rán
sort of thing

=

月 + 犬 + 灬
body part + small dog + cooking fire
Character Notes

hot dog sort of thing

Character Comparison

chū
elementary

=

衤 + 刀
clothing + knife
Character Notes

Cloak + Dagger: Elementary, my dear Watson.

Character Comparison

tài
tranquil

=

𡗗 + 氺
bonsai + snowflake
Character Notes

Japanese haiku:

on tranquility

bonsai covered in snowflakes

forever in bloom

Character Comparison
Series

guāi
well-behaved

=

千 + 北
thousand + north
Character Notes

the well behaved: a thousand times, they always point north

Character Comparison
Series

guì
cupboard

=

木 + 巨
wood + giant
Character Notes

Jack (of the beanstalk) hides from the giant in his giant wooden cupboard

Character Comparison
Series

wēng
elderly man

=

公 + 羽
public + wings
Character Notes

an elderly man turned angel goes public with his wings OR 公 also means a male animal: can you picture this elderly man like a rooster flapping his wings and making noise but not going anywhere?

Character Comparison
Series

qiǎng
rob

=

扌 + 仓cāng
hand + storehouse
Character Notes

a shop-lifting hand robs the storehouse

Character Comparison
Series

pave

=

钅 + 甫fǔ
metal + injection
Character Notes

a modern paving machine with metal rollers injected with asphalt

Character Comparison
Series

doze

=

目 + 去 + 皿
eye + go + dish
Character Notes

When you doze at dinner, your eyes (and face) go kerplop into your dish.

Character Comparison
Series

dǎo
tread

=

⻊ + 舀yǎo
lower leg + carrion
Character Notes

hunters tread around the carrion in a post-hunt celebration dance

Character Comparison
Series

xià
terrify

=

口 + 下
mouth + below
Character Notes

jaw drops in terror

Character Comparison
Series

dupe

=

 其qí + 欠
his/her/its + yawn/lack
Character Notes

duped into going to the laundry mat, only to have to wait, yawning, because you lack an open washing machine

Character Comparison
Series

dào
master thief

=

次 + 皿
next + dish
Character Notes

Carmen San Diego’s next object to steal: Paul Revere’s silver dish

Character Comparison
Series

kǎn
chop

=

石 + 欠
stone + lack/yawn
Character Notes

using a stone to chop wood when you lack better tools

Character Comparison
Series

xuān
veranda

=

车 + 干
vehicle + clothesline
Character Notes

He has such a big veranda, he can store a vehicle and still have room for his clothesline.

Character Comparison
Series

huì
*plants

=

十 + 廾
ten + two hands
Character Notes

Using your two hands to pull out ten plants at once. Alternatively: 十 + 艹 ten + flowers

Character Comparison
Series

gǒng
two hands

=

hand modified
Character Notes
Character Comparison
开 kāi *open hands
Series

brim over

=

氵 + 益yì
water + benefit
Character Notes

The water is brimming over the sparkling dish of benefits. "My cup runneth over." Psalm 23:5

Character Comparison

lie on one's stomach

=

足 + 八bā
lower leg + eight
Character Notes

Mother, may I put eight points on the ground and lay on my stomach? (If you are completely flat on your stomach, let's say you touch the floor in eight spots, starting with your lower legs: toes, knees, hips, chest, wrists, shoulders, chin, nose.)

Character Comparison
躺 tǎng lie down

giant [adj.]

=

匚 + 口
box + mouth
Character Notes

This is a giant box containing a giant mouth.

Character Comparison
Series

qiān
lead along

=

大 + 冖 + 牛
large dog + crown + cow
Character Notes

There is a large dog that is the seeing eye dog for the royal cow, who is now blind, leading him along.

Character Comparison

yuān
injustice

=

冖 + 兔
crown + rabbit
Character Notes

It is injustice that the royal rabbit accidentally gets eaten for supper.

Character Comparison

crane

=

冖 + 隹 + 鸟
crown + special bird + bird
Character Notes

The crane is the crowned royal special bird of all birds.

Character Comparison

bǎng
roster

=

木 + 旁páng
wood + side/Columbus
Character Notes

Deep thoughts by Prince Columbus: “The wooden tablet by my side is the ship’s roster."

Character Comparison

bàng
pound [n.]

=

石 + 旁páng
stone + side/Columbus
Character Notes

Deep thoughts by Prince Columbus: “The stone by my side weighs a pound.”

Character Comparison

bàng
close to

=

亻 + 旁páng
persona + side/Columbus
Character Notes

Deep thoughts by Prince Columbus: “The person by your side is close to you.”

Character Comparison

háo
milli-

=

(亠口冖) + 毛máo
tiara + fur
Character Notes

Princess Bling makes a math class breakthrough when her teacher says "a million" is like the number of hairs in her fur stole.

Character Comparison

háo
unrestrained

=

(亠口冖) + 豕
tiara + sow
Character Notes

Princess Bling has been called Little Miss Piggy for her unrestrained vanity.

Character Comparison

yūn
dizzy

=

日 + 军jūn
sun + chariot
Character Notes

Driving in his chariot, the prince is dazzled by the sun and gets dizzy, veering off the path.

Character Comparison

hún
engulf

=

氵 + 军jūn
water + chariot
Character Notes

While chariot-driving on the beach, the prince is engulfed by a big wave.

Character Comparison

dān
indulge

=

耳 + 冘yín
ear + crown prince
Character Notes

Anyone listening to the crown prince must indulge him.

Character Comparison

zhěn
pillow

=

木 + 冘yín
tree/wood + crown prince
Character Notes

The crown prince is convinced that a wooden pillow is good for his posture.

Character Comparison

fruit stem

=

艹 + 帝dì
flowers + sovereign
Character Notes

If you picture this royal family on a family tree, the sovereign is the stem, and the children are the flowering branches.

Character Comparison

hoof

=

足 + 帝dì
lower leg + sovereign
Character Notes

The sovereign is always on a horse, so its hooves are really just an extension of his lower legs.

Character Comparison

weep aloud

=

口 + 帝dì
mouth + sovereign
Character Notes

The sovereign is weeping aloud for the loss of his wife.

Character Comparison

knotted up

=

纟 + 帝dì
threads + sovereign
Character Notes

A new tailor is hired by the sovereign, but he gets knotted up in threads during the fitting, and the tailor is fired.

Character Comparison

Ke

=

木 + 可kě
tree + can
Character Notes

Mr. Ke is a can-do "feller".

Character Comparison

tán, qín
Tan/Qin

=

西 + 早
Wild West + sunflower
Character Notes

Mr. Tan was the first person to cultivate sunflowers in the West.

Character Comparison

shào
Shao

=

召zhào + X阝
summon + city walls
Character Notes

Mr. Shao was summoned to the city walls for execution?

Character Comparison

gōng
Gong

=

龙lóng + 共gòng
dragon + together
Character Notes

Ms. Gong cannot be separated from her dragon; they'll be together forever.

Character Comparison

hǎo
Hao

=

赤 + X阝
crimson + city walls
Character Notes

Ms. Hao gets arrested for painting crimson graffiti on the city walls.

Character Comparison

shǔ
*grain tarp

=

禾 + 𠆢 + 氺
grain + umbrella + snowflake
Character Notes

grain is protected by an umbrella tarp from snow getting inside

Character Comparison
Series

táo
pottery

=

阝 + 匋táo
pinnacle + lidded clay pot
Character Notes

The pinnacle of Mr. Tao's pottery is his lidded clay pot.

Character Comparison

host [n.]

=

黍 + 勹 + 丿
grain tarp + bound up + slash
Character Notes

Ms. Li gathers a host of grain under a tarp, tied loosely so she can add more.

Character Comparison

yán
Yan

=

门 + 臽xiàn
gate + trap
Character Notes

Mr. Yan places a trap at the city gate to catch his love? his enemy?

Character Comparison

xuē
Xue

=

艹 + 丶 + 㠯 + 辛xīn
flowers + drop + boss + peppery
Character Notes

Ms. Xue has cultivated a special type of flower inspired by memories of a previous boss. She uses a peppery fertilizer.

Character Comparison

qiū
Qiu

=

丘qiū + X阝
hill + city walls
Character Notes

The Qiu family are all buried on Qiu hill.

Character Comparison

qín
Qin

=

𡗗 + 禾
bonsai + grain
Character Notes

Can't you picture the first emperor of China, Qin, demanding that his imperial gardens and fields be replicated in miniature in his tomb?

Character Comparison

zōu
Zou

=

刍 + X阝
flying witch + city walls
Character Notes

The flying witch Zou circles the city walls.

Character Comparison

mentor

=

亻 + 尃fū
persona + thumb prick
Character Notes

Mr. Fu has been my mentor at the lab, teaching me how to efficiently administer the thumb pricks before patients have time to think about it.

Character Comparison

liào
Liao

=

广 + 翏liù
cave + kiddie cocktail
Character Notes

Mr. Liao started a caveman-themed resort, complete with kiddie cocktails served at the pool-side cave.

Character Comparison

wāng
tearful

=

氵 + 王wáng
water + king
Character Notes

Mr. Wang was known as the "water king" because he is always so tearful.

Character Comparison

tán
Tan-2

=

讠 + 覃tán
microphone + Tan/Qin
Character Notes

We'd like to welcome to the show the biographer of Mr. Tan, the first person in the West to cultivate sunflowers. She is Ms. Tan, Tan's granddaughter.

Character Comparison

cuī
Cui, *wild turkey

=

山 + 隹
mountain + special bird
Character Notes

Mr. Cui hunts wild turkeys in the mountains.

Character Comparison

yín
*crown prince

=

冖 + 儿
crown + human legs
Character Notes

the next human in line for the crown

Character Comparison

shěn
Shen

=

氵 + 冘yín
water + crown prince
Character Notes

Shen is the crown prince’s valet, responsible for washing him, dressing him, etc.

Character Comparison

Louvre

=

卜bǔ + 尸
magic wand + flag/corpse
Character Notes

Night at the Louvre Museum where Mr. Lu uses magic to bring some corpses to life.

Character Comparison

wèi
Wei

=

委wēi + 鬼guǐ
committee + ghost
Character Notes

The former Ms. Wei heads the committee of ghosts that haunt her hometown.

Character Comparison

jiǎng
Jiang

=

艹 + 将jiàng
flowers + General
Character Notes

Ms. Jiang was given flowers by the General.

Character Comparison

cài
Cai

=

艹 + 祭
flowers + offer sacrifice
Character Notes

Ms. Cai is religious about taking flowers to offer sacrifice to her ancestors.

Character Comparison

pān
Pan

=

氵 + 番fān
water + fertilizer
Character Notes

Mr. Pan adds water and fertilizer to his garden.

Character Comparison

solemn

=

肀 + *丌 + 八
rake + crutches + animal legs
Character Notes

Hunca Munca is one of Beatrix Potter's two bad mice who steal from a doll's house and then feel very solemn when caught. Here they are stealing a rake and crutches and running away.

Character Comparison
Series

xiāo
desolate

=

艹 + 肃
flowers + solemn
Character Notes

As Ms. Xiao looked at the solemn flowers around her at the funeral, she felt desolate.

Character Comparison

péng
puffy

=

月 + 彭péng
body part + Peng
Character Notes

This body part of drummer boy Peng is getting puffy.

Character Comparison

péng
Peng

=

壴 + 彡
drummer boy + bird tail
Character Notes

This drummer boy, named Peng, adds a bird tail to his cap.

Character Comparison

jiā
commend

=

壴 + 加jiā
drummer boy + add
Character Notes

This drummer boy is commended for his performance and money is added to his wages.

Character Comparison

kettle

=

士 + 冖 + 业
soldier + crown + profession
Character Notes

This soldier put his mess hall experience to use as a professional kettle keeper for the crown.

Character Comparison

kuǎn
funds

=

士 + 示 + 欠
soldier + altar + lack
Character Notes

This soldier lacks funds to take his bride to the altar.

Character Comparison

náo
chafe

=

扌 + 尧yáo
hand + ceremonial soldier
Character Notes

The hand of this ceremonial soldier felt chafed and itchy, but he resisted scratching it.

Character Comparison

qiào
turn upward

=

尧yáo + 羽
ceremonial soldier + wings
Character Notes

This ceremonial soldier’s collar is turned upward like wings.

Character Comparison

ráo
spare [v.]

=

饣 + 尧yáo
food + ceremonial soldier
Character Notes

This ceremonial soldier was spared from mess hall duty.

Character Comparison

jié
lop off

=

𢦏 + 隹
tank + special bird
Character Notes

This tank ran over a turkey and lopped off its head.

Character Comparison

zāi
sow

=

𢦏zái +木
tank + tree
Character Notes

Other machinery is invented based on the tank. This tank-like tractor smooths the ground before trees are sown.

Character Comparison

zhǎn
small cup

=

戋jiān + 皿
machine gun + dish
Character Notes

This small cup holds the bullets from a machine gun that were removed from his side.

Character Comparison

jiàn
tread on

=

足 + 戋jiān
lower leg + machine gun
Character Notes

tread on the machine gun of a fallen comrade

Character Comparison

miè
despise

=

艹 + 罒 + 戊 + 丶
flowers + net + cannon + drop
Character Notes

Flower children despise war. Picture them throwing a net over a cannon or stuffing it with something to prevent it from firing.

Character Comparison

róng
down [n.]

=

纟 + 戎róng
threads + padding
Character Notes

Down needs to be covered and sewn loosely with threads to become padding.

Character Comparison

róng
*padding

=

十 + 戈
ten + rifle
Character Notes

You need padding 10 layers thick to protect yourself from a rifle.

Character Comparison

*special bird wings

=

羽 + 隹
wings + special bird
Character Notes
Character Comparison
Series

fell [v.]

=

亻 + 戈
persona + rifle
Character Notes

War stories can get stretched. This persona tells of the time he fell a tree with his rifle.

Character Comparison

chuō
jab

=

翟 + 戈
special bird wings + rifle
Character Notes

These soldiers are hungry, but they jab at the wings of the fallen bird with their rifle to make sure it isn’t an enemy trap.

Character Comparison

creak

=

口 + 一 + 自 + 戈gē
mouth + ceiling + nose + rifle
Character Notes

This is the sound made by a POW who is being tortured to extract information. He is being hung by his nose from the ceiling with a rifle pointed at him.

Character Comparison

èr
II

=

二èr + 贝 + 弋
two + shells + pistol
Character Notes

This formal document between two parties of a duel listed the terms of the duel, including the shells that could be paid to settle the dispute rather than a pistol.

Character Comparison

xiáng
propitious

=

礻 + 羊yáng
Eastern altar + sheep
Character Notes

Dear Ancestors, I have brought my lucky sheep to you to favorably incline you to bless my flock with a propitious yield.

Character Comparison
吉 jí lucky, 瑞 ruì auspicious

chán
meditation

=

礻 + 单dān
Eastern altar + list
Character Notes

Dear Ancestors, here is the list of mantras that I have been using in meditation. Can you bless them?

Character Comparison

dǎo
pray

=

礻 + 寿
Eastern altar + longevity
Character Notes

Dear Ancestors, more than anything, it is the longevity of our mother for which we pray.

Character Comparison
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