The search for the origins of a character sometimes leads to a labyrinth. The adventures bring great satisfaction. Not only do they allow a better understanding of the current meaning, but they show the deep connections between ideograms.
An example, 艮, gen means stubborn, hard.
Its first spelling shows a man looking behind him . What does this have to do with stubborn?
A later spelling with a different Chinese character , with an eye and a knife, gave it its present meaning. Both meanings will continue to live in this character.艮 also designates one of the trigrams of the I Ching , the mountain, the immobile.
Thus, 限 xiàn, limit, includes a mountain 阝et this man who looks behind him: a look limited by the mountain.
As for 恨, hey, hate is 忄+艮, heart + hard.
艮 is found in the composition of a dozen common characters with its two senses.
The knowledge of the origin of the characters allows, on the one hand, to better understand the modern senses and, on the other hand, to grasp the interactions over the centuries between the characters. An exciting journey.
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28 August 2020