Pictographic "Alphabet"

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female, *woman

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“女字旁”

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piàn
slice [n.]

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爿pán slat

yǒu
*whiskey bottle

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originally an ancient wine vessel

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𠂆

*drag

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厂chǎng cliff

chuān
stream

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shān
mountain

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yuè
month, *body part/moon

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body part when on left, moon when on right “月字旁”; derivative: 夕 *evening

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day, *sun

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“日字旁”

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曰yuē sayeth

shuǐ
water [n.], *pool of water

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derivatives: 氵*water, 冫*ice, 氺 *snowflake

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soil

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“土字底”“土字旁”

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huǒ
fire [n.]

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derivative: 灬 cooking fire

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wood, *tree

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“木字旁”

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𠃌

gǔn
*coat hook

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xiān
*worm

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𠆢

sǎn
*umbrella

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“人字头“, derived from: 伞 sǎn umbrella

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*mask

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𠂇

zuǒ
*by one’s side

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ya
*beret

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Yakov wears a beret

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chē
vehicle

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derivative: 㐄 *unicycle

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jīn
towel

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kǒu
mouth

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“口字旁”“口字底”

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shǐ
sow [n.]

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top stroke is the side of the pen, then head, then back, then two piglets, then a splash of milk like the last two strokes of water; derivative: (㇇勿) *piglet

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ér
son, *human legs

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yáng
sheep

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notice 丷 horns on top; derivative: ⺶ *wool

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guāng
ray

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alternative breakdown: 小+儿 small + human legs, small human legs run in to wake you like a ray of sunshine

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ròu
meat

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originally a picture of meat; alternative breakdown: 冂+人+人 hood + person + person

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shǒu
hand

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modified versions: 扌龵 *hand; derivatives: 开 *open hands, 廾 *two hands, 寸 *thumb

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grain

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derivative: 米 rice

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木mù tree, 米mǐ rice

mén
gate

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“门字框”

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户hù door

four

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one of the four directions is 西 xī west

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father

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chǎng
factory, *cliff

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“厂字头” or “偏厂“

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píng
even [adj.]

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door

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alternative breakdown: 丶+尸 drop + corpse/flag

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niú
cow

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modified versions: 牜 ⺧

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jīn
catty [n.], *axe

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an axe weighs about a catty (.5 kg)

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niǎo
bird

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乌wū crow

mián
*house

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“宝盖头”

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cǎo
*flowers

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derivative: 1 *bouquet; “草字头”

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wéi
*enclose

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“围字框” or "方匡"

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fāng
*box

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“三匡”

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*sheaf, *X

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Jacob, renamed Israel, has 12 sons. It is his last son, Joseph, who will carry on God’s covenant, so he is favored. Joseph has a dream about sheaves of grain, where his brother’s sheaves all bow to his. He shares the dream with his brothers in hopes they will see the favoritism is God’s will. They don’t buy it.

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gōng
work [n.], *I-beam

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derivative: *经 *crane

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power, *muscle

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divination, *magic wand

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modified version:⺊; alternative breakdown: 丨+丶 stick + drop

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yòu
again, *right hand raised

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ancient meaning of this character was "right hand", which it still retains as a component; derivative: 乃 *fist

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enter

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a picture of a wedge

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人rén person

shí
ten, *needle

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seven

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匕bǐ spoon/person sitting

not, *knot

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"not" has such an abstract meaning that we'll play on the English word and get the concrete image of a "knot"

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how many?, *wind

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derived from: 风fēng wind/windstorm

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eight, *animal legs

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eight can be /divided and /divided again OR a spider has eight animal legs

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gān
dry [adj.], *clothesline

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千qiān thousand

tóu
*top hat

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*or Mandarin hat (see 衣yī clothing)

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bāo
*bound up

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“包字头”

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mother

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picture of breasts

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xiǎo
small

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rén
person

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derivatives: 亻 *persona, 𠂉 *lying down

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入rù enter

xīn
heart

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“心字底”; derivatives: 忄*meme, ⺗ *valentine

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self, *snake

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derivatives: 已 *snakeskin, 巴 *boa

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one, *ceiling/floor

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also, *scorpion

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匕bǐ person sitting/spoon

eye

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child

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shì
show [v.], *altar

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this character was originally a picture of an ancestral tablet for worship, so the component retains this meaning; alternative breakdown: 二+小 two + small, two little people under the altar; derivative: 礻*Eastern altar

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máo
fur

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手shǒu hand/high five

dīng
fourth, *nail

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sideways digital 4

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钉dīng nail

tián
field

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alternative breakdown: 囗+土 enclose + soil; derivatives: 由 *sprout, 申 *beet, 甲 *radish

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*monument

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“私字”

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five

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Can you see the Arabic numeral 5 in this character? OR an upside down 4 plus some

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wǎng
net [n.]

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modified version: 罒; alternative breakdown: 冈gāng+乂 ridge + sheaf/X OR 冂+乂+乂 hood + sheaves

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chóng
insect

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中zhōng + "sw"
middle + "silkworm"
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category "insect" with Chinese characteristics: anything creepy-crawly

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spoon, *person sitting

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七qī seven

yán
*microphone

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speech modified
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“言字旁”

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clothing

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modified version: 衤 ; derivatives: 𧘇 *scarf, *𧘇 *kerchief, 长 long

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(丷干)

*RMB

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丷+干
horns + clothesline
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alternative breakdown: 丷+干 horns + clothesline, devilish laundered money

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háng
a business, *intersection

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alternatively: 彳+一+丁 queue + one/ceiling + nail, queue at the hardware business to buy the one nail available

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inside, *computer

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Inside Out OR alternative breakdown: 田+土 field + soil; anciently, a li was a measurement of distance

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spine

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alternative breakdown: 口+口 mouth + mouth

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tooth

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gān
sweet, *basket

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廿niàn twenty

pán
*slat

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wood being sliced in half 爿片

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片piàn slice

*dollar sign

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alternative breakdown: 弓+*介 bow + crutches

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second, *fishing

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一 + 乚
"pole" + fishhook
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upside down 2 OR second “job” is fishing; derivative: 乚 *dental hook

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乚yǐn fishhook

dǎi
malicious, *carcass

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alternative breakdown: 一+夕 ceiling + evening, haunted house: carcass hanging from the ceiling in the evening

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jiù
*rib cage

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derivative: 叟 *skeleton

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arrow, *pistol

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part of a series of weapon components: 弋 *pistol, 戈 *rifle, 戋 *machine gun, 戊 *cannon, 𢦏 *tank; a pistol is a handgun used in duels

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máo
spear

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derivative: 龴 *spear head

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zhú
bamboo

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“竹字头”, modified version: ⺮

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hài
*acorn

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top hat covering the roots inside the acorn seed; alternative breakdown: 亠+厶+人 top hat + monument + person

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gōng
bow [n.]

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derivative: 丂 *broken bow

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ér
and, *beard

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fēi
non-, *jail cell

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cái
genius, *genie

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寸cùn thumb, 扌shǒu hand

chuò
*road

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“走之”; derivative: 之 *road block

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quǎn
dog, *small dog

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大 + 丶
large dog + drop
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bell on collar; derivatives: 大 *large dog, 犭 *pack of dogs

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太tài

jǐng
well [n.]

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tile

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guàn
string of shells

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stand up

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