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supplicate

=

礻 + 斤
Eastern altar + catty
Character Notes

Dear Ancestors, here is a 斤 jīn of fruit to sweeten our supplication to you for blessings.

Character Comparison

shēng
nephew-2

=

生shēng + 男
life/seed + male
Character Notes

Your sister has given life to a male. You have a nephew!

Character Comparison
侄 zhí nephew

zhí
nephew

=

亻 + 至zhì
persona + until
Character Notes

You won't have a nephew until your brother has a child. OR You thought of your persona's son as your nephew until...

Character Comparison
甥 shēng nephew-2

daughter-in-law

=

女 + 息xī
woman + breath
Character Notes

Give your daughter-in-law some breathing room. She might be feeling a lot of pressure.

Character Comparison

elder sister

=

女 + *弟
woman + *younger brother
Character Notes

*this is a younger brother with his horny head ripped off; This is your evil elder sister, not your quiet older sister (split personality?)

Character Comparison
姐 jiě older sister

sǎo
elder brother's wife

=

女 + 叟sǒu
woman + skeleton
Character Notes

This is your skinny (or dead) aunt, or maybe she dressed up for Halloween as a skeleton.

Character Comparison

father's older brother

=

亻 + 白bái
persona + white
Character Notes

The first persona in the family whose hair turned white.

Character Comparison

shěn
auntie

=

女 + 审shěn
woman + painstaking
Character Notes

(This is your father's younger brother's wife.) This auntie painstakingly grows beets inside her house.

Character Comparison

shěn
painstaking

=

宀 + 申shēn
house + beet
Character Notes

painstaking with her beets, growing them inside the house

Character Comparison

stumble

=

(十宀) + 田 + 疋
chapel + field + Spartan race
Character Notes

Yakov stumbled in the field behind the chapel during his Spartan race.

Character Comparison

Na

=

女 + 那nà
woman + that
Character Notes

That woman is named 安娜 (ānnà Anna).

Character Comparison

yáo
Yao-2

=

女 + 兆zhào
woman + omen
Character Notes

Ms. Yao saw the turtle shell left on her doorstep as a good omen.

Character Comparison

yāo
bewitching

=

女 + 夭yāo
woman + die young
Character Notes

A young woman was bewitched by a life in the spotlight and died young. OR If you are bewitched by the myth that a woman can do it all and all at once, you will die young.

Character Comparison

jiāng
ginger

=

羊yáng + 女
sheep + woman
Character Notes

Ginger Jiang, a shepherdess, forages for wild ginger while tending her sheep.

Character Comparison

jiān
adultery

=

女 + 干gān
woman + clothesline
Character Notes

a woman commits adultery after flirting with the neighbor over the fence every time she is out hanging up her laundry OR 干 can be a vulgar word for sex

Character Comparison

shuǎ
mess around

=

而 + 女
beard + woman
Character Notes

She doesn’t mess around with beards; she wants a man with a clean-shaven face. OR Santa baby, hurry down the chimney tonight.

Character Comparison

xián
dislike

=

女 + 兼jiān
woman + double
Character Notes

She is disliked as a woman who leads a double life, cheating on her husband. OR dislike women being treated with a double standard compared to men

Character Comparison

jealous of

=

女 + 户hù
woman + door
Character Notes

I’m so jealous of her front door. It’s the house’s 1920’s original.

Character Comparison

tuǒ
appropriate

=

爫 + 女
claw + woman
Character Notes

A claw clip is versatile enough for appropriate hairstyles for various occasions.

Character Comparison

yīn
in-law

=

女 + 因yīn
woman + cause
Character Notes

Because of marriage a woman becomes part of in-law relationships. OR Women are the cause of marriage. They want the stability of one man to help care for them and their children during child-rearing.

Character Comparison

take a wife

=

取qǔ + 女
take + woman
Character Notes

Hopefully when a man takes a woman to wife, he also takes her somewhere nice.

Character Comparison

méi
eyebrows

=

尸 + 目mù
(split) flag + eye
Character Notes

eyebrows are a split flag over your eyes

Character Comparison

mèi
flatter

=

女 + 眉méi
woman + eyebrows
Character Notes

He says the first time we met, I kept making eyebrows at him. I say, “Don’t flatter yourself.” OR You noticed my eyebrows? Wow, I’m flattered.

Character Comparison

méi
matchmaker

=

女 + 某mǒu
woman + picnic basket
Character Notes

matchmaker sets up a blind date, a picnic OR matchmaking service offers free picnic basket on first date

Character Comparison

hóng
magnificent

=

宀 + 厷gōng
house + George Washington
Character Notes

George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon, is magnificent itself, but even more magnificent is the fact that Washington yielded power after two terms and retired to his house and farm.

Character Comparison

gōng
*George Washington

=

𠂇 + 厶
by one's side + monument
Character Notes

 In this statue, Washington leans on a fasces, a monument to his power and jurisdiction.

Character Comparison

shū
graceful

=

氵 + 叔shū
water + uncle
Character Notes

Uncle Schubert is graceful in the water.

Character Comparison

shuì
tax

=

禾 + 兑duì
grain + devil
Character Notes

Sometimes having a portion of your harvest go to taxes feels like paying the devil.

Character Comparison

yuè
peruse

=

门 + 兑
gate + devil
Character Notes

Some think that perusing porn is opening the gate to the devil.

Character Comparison

yuè
delighted

=

忄 + 兑
meme + devil
Character Notes

a meme of the devil laughing in delight

Character Comparison

ruì
sharp

=

钅 + 兑duì
metal + devil
Character Notes

The devil has a sharp metal barb on his tail.

Character Comparison

bào
violent

=

日 + 共 + 氺
sun + together + snowflake
Character Notes

violent changes in weather can lead to volcanic activity

Character Comparison
Series

flay

=

录 + 刂
record + sword
Character Notes

Guinness world record for flaying bear skins with a sword

Character Comparison
Series

chlorine

=

气 + 录lù
air + record
Character Notes

The indoor swimming pool has to record the amount of chlorine in the air.

Character Comparison
Series

chǔn
foolish

=

春chūn + 虫 + 虫
springtime + insects
Character Notes

In the springtime insects are so hungry, they foolishly expose themselves to predators.

Character Comparison
Series

xiá
red sky

=

⻗ + 叚jiǎ
weather + copycat
Character Notes

The pollution makes a pretty rosy sky in the mornings and evenings. How is China so good at fakes?

Character Comparison

báo
hail

=

⻗ + 包bāo
weather + wrap
Character Notes

wrap buds in bubble wrap if hail is in the forecast

Character Comparison

zhèn
quake

=

⻗ + 辰chén
weather + earthquake
Character Notes

1989 San Francisco quake followed by the 1994 L.A. earthquake

Character Comparison

yǐn
addiction

=

疒 + 隐yǐn
sickness + hidden
Character Notes

Addictions are often hidden sicknesses.

Character Comparison
Series

liáo
cure

=

疒 + 了liǎo
sickness + -ed
Character Notes

She was cure-ed from the sickness!

Character Comparison
Series

hén
trace

=

疒 + 艮gèn
sickness + silver
Character Notes

trace amounts of silver in his blood made him sick

Character Comparison
Series

cancer

=

疒 + 品 + 山
sickness + goods + mountain
Character Notes

Cancer caused by exposure to manufactured goods. The lump had turned into a mountain.

Character Comparison
Series

liú
tumor

=

疒 + 留liú
sickness + stay
Character Notes

a tumor is a lump that stays unless removed

Character Comparison
Series

chuāng
sore

=

疒 + 仓cāng
sickness + storehouse
Character Notes

sore from lifting boxes of umbrellas and worms at the storehouse (Costco)

Character Comparison
Series

scar

=

疒 + 巴bā
sickness + boa
Character Notes

Boas don't leave any physical scars on their victims, only mental ones--on those that survive, that is.

Character Comparison
Series

tān
paralysis

=

疒 + 难nán
sickness + difficult
Character Notes

After hours in the ice cave, her limbs became difficult to feel. She convinced herself she was paralyzed.

Character Comparison
Series

fatigued

=

疒 + 皮pí
sickness + covering
Character Notes

Have you ever been so fatigued that your skin feels sensitive or twitches?

Character Comparison
Series

yǎng
itch

=

疒 + 羊yáng
sickness + sheep
Character Notes

If you are in an ice cave, you will want a wool hat and scarf, but they also itch.

Character Comparison
Series

flatten

=

车 + 乚
vehicle + dental hook
Character Notes

You tear out of the dentist’s office, slam your car into reverse and flatten a dental hook as you speed out of the parking lot.

Character Comparison

polished

=

牙yá + 隹
tooth + special bird
Character Notes

In a corner of the dentist office is a grinning, polished turkey. Wait, turkeys don’t have teeth!

Character Comparison

raven

=

牙yá + 鸟
tooth + bird
Character Notes

Your terror is heightened by the decor in the dental office. This dentist seems obsessed with creepy birds. There is a raven mounted in the corner with a tooth impaled on his beak, like the bird was the one who removed it.

Character Comparison

surprised

=

讠 + 牙yá
microphone + tooth
Character Notes

You are startled out of your daydream, surprised to hear your name over the loud speaker at the dental office.

Character Comparison

zhā
prick

=

扌 + 乚
hand + dental hook
Character Notes

The dentist uses a dental hook to prick the teeth, looking for soft spots.

Character Comparison

sprout

=

艹 + 牙yá
flowers + tooth
Character Notes

In one culture, baby teeth are buried, and the sprouts that come up above them represent new adult teeth.

Character Comparison

radiating vitality

=

亦yì + 大
dancing penguin + large
Character Notes

This dancing penguin does large movements with his arms, radiating vitality.

Character Comparison

mán
barbaric

=

亦 + 虫
dancing penguin + insect
Character Notes

This dancing penguin is considered barbaric because he eats insects instead of caviar.

Character Comparison

liù
*kiddie cocktail

=

羽 + 㐱
wings + cocktail
Character Notes

the kiddie version of the cocktail is marked with little wings on its umbrella

Character Comparison
Series

liáo
deserted

=

宀 + 翏liù
house + kiddie cocktail
Character Notes

The deserted house, where there used to be kids and parties.

Character Comparison

zǎi
butcher

=

宀 + 辛
house + peppery/chili pepper
Character Notes

The house of the “Butcher”, the mean dad who rules his house with harsh discipline like chili pepper punishment.

Character Comparison

zhòu
universe

=

宀 + 由yóu
house + wherefore/sprout
Character Notes

A house at one with the universe, where they grow and eat a lot of sprouts.

Character Comparison
Series

xiàn
constitution

=

宀 + 先xiān
house + first
Character Notes

The Constitution house, where in their political views, one thing comes first: the Constitution!

Character Comparison

dūn
candid

=

享 + 攵
enjoy + taskmaster
Character Notes

I’ll be candid with you, we both have strong personalities, but I've enjoyed working with the taskmaster ever since we met in London.

Character Comparison

liǎn
restrain

=

佥qiān + 攵
barn + taskmaster
Character Notes

Mother of the bride says, "I will restrain her from mentioning the barn venue idea again. We leave everything to you, taskmaster."

Character Comparison

chè
remove

=

扌 + 育 + 攵
hand + education + taskmaster
Character Notes

Mother removes herself from the planning of the wedding and hands over the education of her daughter on the subject of weddings to the taskmaster.

Character Comparison

nèn
tender

=

女 + 束 + 攵
woman + bundle + taskmaster
Character Notes

At this tender age, it is better for a wedding taskmaster to provide the whole bundle. Too many decisions for you to make.

Character Comparison

chún
lips

=

辰 + 口
earthquake + mouth
Character Notes

first kiss is an earthquake in your mouth

Character Comparison

(丬夕)

*chocolate turtle

=

丬 + 夕
turtle + evening
Character Notes

This is the kind of turtle I prefer to eat in the evening.

Character Comparison
Series

jiàng
thick sauce

=

(丬夕) + 酉
chocolate turtle + whiskey bottle
Character Notes

What's in that whiskey bottle looks like a bottle of chocolate sauce, but it is actually thick soy sauce.

Character Comparison

zhū
various

=

讠 + 者zhě
microphone + hero
Character Notes

The hero tells various stories on a radio variety show.

Character Comparison

lián
inexpensive

=

广 + 兼jiān
cave + double
Character Notes

most inexpensive house for someone with double jobs is a cave

Character Comparison

jiān
double [adj.]

=

丷 + 肀 + 八
horns + rakes + animal legs
Character Notes

This is an illegal (horns) migrant worker who holds double jobs, a day laborer with a rake and a night hand at an animal shelter.

Character Comparison

qiáo
live abroad

=

亻 + 乔qiáo
persona + pretend
Character Notes

Your persona pretends to live abroad, but really...

Character Comparison

tōu
steal

=

亻 + 俞
persona + slaughterhouse
Character Notes

Your persona steals from the slaughterhouse.

Character Comparison

pèi
wear at the waist

=

亻 + 几 + 一 + 巾
persona + wind + one + towel
Character Notes

Picture your persona only wearing towel around his/her waist. The wind is going to be a problem.

Character Comparison

yǎo
*carrion

=

爫zhǎo + 臼
claw + rib cage
Character Notes

A vulture's claw grips the rib cage of a rotting animal (carrion).

Character Comparison
Series

jiù
mother's brother

=

臼jiù + 男
rib cage + male
Character Notes

This is super skinny farmer Uncle Joe on your mother's side.

Character Comparison

rào
go around

=

纟 + 尧yáo
thread + ceremonial soldier
Character Notes

wrapping thread around and around a ceremonial soldier

Character Comparison

shuì
sleep [v.]

=

目 + 垂chuí
eye + droop
Character Notes

eyes droop

Character Comparison

wéi
disobey

=

韦wéi + 辶
tanned hide + road
Character Notes

Disobey and Become a Tanned Hide: As new roads are constructed, road kill becomes more common. Too bad animals can’t learn to obey traffic signs.

Character Comparison

féng
chance upon

=

夆féng + 辶
briars + road
Character Notes

walking through the briars off the road and chance upon Rapunzel

Character Comparison

dòu
tease

=

豆dòu + 辶
beans + road
Character Notes

Tease with Beans: Road trips can get long. This child passes the time teasing her sleeping sibling by putting beans in his ears.

Character Comparison

hand over

=

弟dì + 辶
younger brother + road
Character Notes

Hand Over your Younger Brother: Turns out they got the wrong guy. You’d better hand over your younger brother.

Character Comparison

zhē
screen [v.]

=

庶zhē + 辶
booyah + road
Character Notes

Screen the Booyah: On the road, if you have a big pot of booyah stew, you’ll have to screen it unless you are willing to share.

Character Comparison

zāo
meet with

=

曹cáo + 辶
Cao + road
Character Notes

Meet with Cao: For most Oakies, the first time meeting with a Chinese person is in California.

Character Comparison

dài
arrest

=

隶 + 辶
bondservant
Character Notes

Arrest the Bondservant: In some ways, sharecroppers during the Depression were bondservants. This one was minding his own business but still got arrested.

Character Comparison

bondservant

=

肀 + 氺
rake + snowflake
Character Notes

A bondservant to rake the snow for you.

Character Comparison
Series

chè
pitchfork

=

Character Notes
Character Comparison
Series

*devil's pitchfork

=

丷 + 屮
horns + pitchfork
Character Notes

A devil's pitchfork is often depicted with horns.

Character Comparison
Series

so far

=

乞qǐ + 辶
beg + road
Character Notes

So Far, Haven’t Begged: “So far, so good.” This family hasn’t had to beg for food yet.

Character Comparison

luó
make the rounds

=

罗luó + 辶
silk gauze + road
Character Notes

Make the Rounds in Silk Gauze: Desperate women in silk gauze stockings make the rounds in camp at night.

Character Comparison

liáo
far away

=

了liǎo + 辶
-ed + road
Character Notes

Far Away Buried Child: This family had to bury their child far away from home on the road.

Character Comparison

qiān
re-situate

=

千qiān + 辶
thousand + road
Character Notes

Re-situated a Thousand Times: The Oakies moved over a thousand miles west, re-situating themselves each night.

Character Comparison

pleased

=

予yǔ + 象
fishing spear + elephant
Character Notes

What would be more pleasing than an elephant sighting during your fishing expedition?

Character Comparison

máo
thatch

=

艹 + 矛máo
flowers + spear
Character Notes

When a spear warps or otherwise becomes useless as a tool, it can be repurposed as a support for a thatch hut. See how it is propping up a canopy of flowers?

Character Comparison

xīn
elated

=

斤jīn + 欠
axe + lack/yawn
Character Notes

Although you may find great satisfaction in your hunter-gatherer lifestyle, many people in history are actually elated when they are able to lack the need for an axe and can use electric or gas indoor heating.

Character Comparison

analyze

=

木 + 斤
tree/wood + axe
Character Notes

Analysis involves cutting something into parts and looking at it closely. In your axe work, you will be analyzing the wood, the trees, the blade, the technique, etc.

Character Comparison

jiàng
artisan

=

匚 + 斤
box + axe
Character Notes

The axe you use for more detailed carpentry work, you keep in a box with other tools of the trade.

Character Comparison

axe

=

父fù + 斤
father + axe
Character Notes

In your collection of axes, this biggest one is “the Father.”

Character Comparison
斤jīn *axe

zhōu
porridge

=

弓 + 米
2 bows + rice
Character Notes

Make some porridge with all that rice. Add in some meat that you shot with your bows.

Character Comparison

jiāng
dividing line

=

弓 + 土 + 三 + 田
bow + soil + 3 lines + 2 fields
Character Notes

Unfortunately, sometimes bows must also be used to defend territory. Think of this dividing line between hunting grounds and growing grounds.

Character Comparison
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