allograph (different shape but same meaning)
connotation as a character part
abbreviated, abbreviation
contracted, contraction
extended meaning
kanji, ideograph, character
literal translation from the Shuowen Jiezi
modified, modification
mijn hanzi, modification
opposite meaning or situation
when used as a character part
explanation according to Richard Sears (
one of the 214 radicals in the traditional character classification system
situation chosen for evoking this meaning
suffix for counting units of objects, etc.
Unclassified by Joseph De Roo.



Primitives are character components which can be used to decompose a character and fabricate a story around it to remember it. Most of the time components where joined because of their pronunciation to certain signific parts. This means that originally a character had a signific part, giving meaning to it, and a phonetic part, giving a phonetic clue to the character. In case we use the original meaning we always put the marker RS. in front which means that the meaning comes from the excellent site from Richard Sears about Chinese Etymology. More information can be found here.

Knowing these primitives well will aid in remembering them. Primitives are always colored light green on this site.

BACK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT
be numerous, brillianttwo hands stoking a brilliant fire in the hearth
RS𣁋𢼸 𠌝𢕄 𢕧𢼸𣁋𧗬small, micro, triflingRS. a woman on the road with long hair 𣁋/𢼸: beautiful, humble and small
RSsprout, shoot, beginning, originRS. sprout:
RSaccordingly, otherwise, and yet, but, nevertheless, you, on the condition that, supposing that, if, and, alsoRS. remnant of a beard and a man and a root:
RSbalanceRS. hand holding a scale :
RSshield, dutch guilder, IndonesiaRS. an eye looking through a shield
RSbeanRS. remnant of peas in a pod
RSunite, combine, connect, and, equally, concurrently
  • RS. hand grasping two sheaths of grain : at the same time (concurrently)
  • con. work on the fields
RSthread cutting knive
RS𠀈𠀌𠤢 𡊣𤤘hill, elder, emptyRS. small hills:
RSghost, spirit of dead, devil, cunning, crafty, sinister, dark, rad. 194RS. A man (goblin) with an ugly head and a tail:
RSsnout, rad. 58RS. tusks and nose of a pig:
RSmane, bristles, as on a hog, dorsal fins, stiff hairsRS. rat with whiskers:
𡿳rat, mouse, rad. 208RS. mouse with legs tail and whiskers:
belt, girdle, band, strap, zoneRS. top is belt synched at the waste, middle separator , bottom cloth :
RSrad. 153, legless insects, a legendary beastimage of a small animal:
RSable to, win, overcome, conquer, love of superiority, gram, limitkind of spoon : contains about a gram of drugs able to conquer anyone
RS𠄔𢆱𣥌illusion, fantasy, mirageRS. a shuttle with a string which goes back and forth: changeable, can't be caught: : illusion
RSbolt of cloth, match, counter for horsesRS. matching stones in a Petra phone:
BACK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT