We saw that the word 隔离 quarantine, isolation was formed of two characters. Today, we are looking at the second one, 离/離, lí, distant from, leave, separate.
A jiaguwen writing (on the right of the picture) evoked a bird and a net, hence the original meaning “to catch a bird”:
By extension, it gave “to suffer damage” as a bird caught in a net. The only solution is to flee, which brought the senses to leave and separate.
Other spellings showed two hands closing on a bird:
Evolution of characters from the Jiaguwen period to the characters used today, from left to right:
The traditional spelling kept the basic structure with 离, which reminds the net and 隹 the bird, while the simplified one let the bird fly away 离.
离 is also the name of the trigram of the Yijing, the fire that has the meanings of sticking and attaching.
Use of 离 with other characters :
离线, lí xiàn, offline
离开, lí kāi, leave, separate
离婚 , lí hūn, divorce
距离, jù lí, distance
Other articles on characters classified by theme :
18 September 2020