Tuesday, 20 February 2018

草 | cǎo

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: cǎo 🔊) is a noun that means “grass”, “straw”, “thatch”, “herb”; by extension, any green plant without bark (or, to use Baldrick’s method of defining things, “not a tree”); “draft”, “sketch” (the scribble that looks like grass?). It also has acquired an euphemistic meaning of the similarly-pronounced vulgar word (cào).

According to Wiktionary, is a

Phono-semantic compound: semantic (“grass; plant”) + phonetic . Originally referred to , and later borrowed for the “grass” sense, replacing .

is a radical form of . We’ve seen it before in such characters as “tea” and “flower”.

More photos related to grass, herbs, straw and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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