Sunday, 7 May 2017

白 | bái

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: bái 🔊) means “white”, “clear”, “pure”, “bright” and a number of other meanings which at some point probably were related to colour white: “spoken language”, “free of charge”, “in vain” or “funeral”.

Does it look and sound familiar? This is because we’ve already came across (bǎi), “hundred”. You may also recall that the shape of is a combination of and .

According to Uncle Hanzi, is a pictogram “of a white cotton bobin” while Wiktionary says its original meaning was “acorn”:

The character acquired its current meaning of white from the color of the acorn’s flesh. The original meaning has been lost.
More photos related to acorns, white and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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