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.

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RS𧰨𧰧𧰬豕a pig, boar, rad. 152 animal with a tail ; ; al. 𧰨: ; ; : ; ; :; : ; :
RSsay, speak
  • sound coming from the mouth
  • two individuals talking with each other
RS𥘅show, manifest, demonstrate, altar, cult, sign; ;
RSwrap, embrace, rad. 20
  • person embracing somebody
  • con.: open mouth (surprise, amazement), ready to wrap around something
; ; ; 2540-2578; al. ㇞: ; : ; ; no relation to
RStop of the head, skull head with nose seen from above: ; con.: container with contents al. 囟 →
page, sheet, leaf, rad. 181 man with a head 𦣻 can fill many pages with stories
𦣻𦣻RShead vertebrae with a neck and a head
his, her, its, their, thatbasket on the table : : that what has just been bought is his', hers, theirs ;
RStown, rad. 163/mound, dam, rad. 170
RSdot, rad. 3 ,
RSseal, kneel, rad. 26 modf. : person kneeling offering his seal to somebody ;
RShulled or husked uncooked rice: rice plant stalk with many grains ; ; 1045-1077; ; :
RSgo slowly, foot, rad. 35 foot walking slowly
RSa wine vessel wine bottle modf. to 西; ;
RS𠃧𦏲feather, plume, wings, rad. 124 feathers: ; ; al. 𦏲: ; 𠃧: ; al.
RS𣅣𣅋𤽋beans, peas, bean-shaped steamer with a lid : used for cooking beans
RSbird, rad. 172 ; ; ; ,
RShook, connect
RS𧘇clothes, clothing, cover, skin
  • person with spread arms wearing a garment:
  • con.: scarecrow on the fields
; ; (do not confuse with ) ; ; 𧘇: ; : ; :
RSshallow container, dish, plate, rad. 108 bowl held by two hands
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