鬼 (gwai2)

In celebration of Halloween (鬼節/gwai2 zit3), this week’s character is 鬼 (gwai2), which means “ghost”. The origins of this character are pretty simple – it’s a pictogram of a monster! The 田 (tin4/field) character is used to indicate a deformed head (with the dot on …

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光 (gwong1)

This week’s character is 光 (gwong1) which means “light”. I love the origins of this character, which has two components: the top component is 火 (fo2) for “fire”, and the bottom component is 儿 (jan4), an old way of writing 人 (jan4) which means “person”. …

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兔 (tou3)

In celebration of the Midautumn Festival, this week’s character is 兔 (tou3), which means “rabbit” or “hare” in Chinese. The origin of the 兔 (tou3) character is pretty straight forward…it comes from a pictogram of a rabbit! You can see how the character evolved over …

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包 (baau1)

This week’s character is 包 (baau1) which means “wrap” or “bundle”. You probably recognize it as the word for bread or bun and are used to spelling it “bao” (which is the Mandarin pinyin for this character). According to Uncle Hanzi, this character has two …

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奶 (naai5)

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, this week’s character is 奶 (naai5 / milk). The character 奶 has two components: the left half is the character 女 (neoi5 / female, a very important radical) and the right half of the character comes from the top …

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