This week’s character is 先 (sin1) which means “first”. The origins of the 先 (sin1) character is actually quite involved!
The top part comes from 㞢, an ancient form of 之 (zi1). 之 (zi1) has many meanings, but one of them is “to go”, which can be seen in its two components:
- the character 止 (zi2) for “foot”; and
- the character 一 (jat1) for “one”, which marks the starting place of the journey.
The bottom part comes from 儿 (jan4), the radical form of 人 (jan4), which means “person”.
Put these three parts together, and you can see that the character 先 (sin1) represents the person who takes the first step!
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