Wednesday, 7 February 2018

龙 | lóng

In Mandarin Chinese, (Pinyin: lóng 🔊) means “dragon”. Figuratively, it can mean “emperor”, “king”, “sovereign”, “chief”, “hero” and so on; and, by extension, “dragon-shaped object” and even “long object”. To me, this latter meaning offers a mnemonic for the pronunciation of (lóng).

The Dragon is one of the twelve-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and is associated with the earthly branch . According to Wikipedia,

The Chinese dragon has very different connotations to European dragon — in European cultures, the dragon is a firebreathing creature with aggressive connotations, whereas the Chinese dragon is a spiritual and cultural symbol that represents prosperity and good luck, as well as a rain deity that fosters harmony.

is a simplified (beyond any recognition) form of the traditional character ,

originally a serpent with prominent whiskered mouth and eyes. Current form developed in large seal script, with serpent’s body on right (tail at upper right, legs on right), whiskered/fanged mouth at lower left, and eyes/crown at upper left. Left side was subsequently simplified and abstracted, with some influence of and /
while Uncle Hanzi says that it is “probably originally a cobra. Meaning dragon”.

More photos related to dragons, zodiac and sea glass @ Shutterstock.

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