I have a friend who is in quarantine in a hotel 60 kilometers from Shanghai. On his plane from Paris, a person close to him has tested positive for COVID.For quarantine, we use the word isolation 隔离 ge lí.

covid isolation china geli

I had never thought about the origin of the first character 隔.
On the left, 阝fǔ, which is the key to the hill, the mountain, indicates the meaning and 鬲 ge the sound. When you live far from the mountains, you are far away from everything, isolated.

Other explanations think that the element on the right 鬲 ge also contributes to the meaning. Originally, 鬲 refers to a pot or earthenware cauldron or kettle for cooking food. The three legs are empty to make it easier to reheat liquids. They are relatively far apart. By extension, the sense of insulation has come. This last explanation does not entirely convince me, but I retain it.

chinese CHARACTER cauldron ge 鬲

The second character of 离 is the distant meaning of, leave, separate; it is also one of the eight trigrams of the Yijing. We will see it tomorrow.

Articles by character family :

Character 青

Radical arrow 矢

Radical child 子

Radical eye 目

Radical heart 心

Radical illness 疒

Radical knife 刀,刂

Radical 巳

17 september 2020

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