Hey there world~ So I just came across the character 㷩. I was typing up some class notes and one of the suggested characters on my keyboard for some pinyin I was typing was 㷩. I selected the word because I felt like if I didn’t I’d lose the chance to interact with such a strange character (full on nerd mode). Naturally I went to look it up online and as you can see in the opening photo, it does not have a definition.
What does this lead me to then? Defining it myself of course.
In some of my previous posts focusing on radicals I have explored the notion of discussing possible meanings behind Chinese characters, however this character in particular gives me the opportunity to share with you one of my greatest fascinations with the Chinese language.
The fact that this character does not have a dictionary definition gives us the chance to dissect the radicals comprising it in order to seek out the overall meaning for ourselves. We may be guessing and it may be inaccurate, but its a fun exploration. I think it’s through exercises like this that we can truly appreciate the art of the Chinese language. Maybe that’s just me.
So let me show you what I mean.
㷩 is comprised of the radicals 臣, 已 and 火. There is a stroke on the left of the character that I cannot make out but I’m hoping it’s not largely significant. Anyhow, each of these radicals are also independent characters which several meanings. The commonly used meanings are as follows: vassal, already and fire. Is there any way we can combine these meanings to create a holistic story? Maybe ‘the vassal has already burnt’. Now that you get the idea I have been proposing, I’ll leave it to you to find a meaning.
As I wrote out my ‘definition’ I realised that the concept is minutely similar to the work we tackle in Classical Chinese lessons. Speaking of which, I shall try and ask our professor if she knows the meaning of 㷩 in our next Classical class and then report back to you!~~
This is the kind of stuff that goes on in my head. It’s interesting to explore and reflect on but it can get a bit much. Have you got suggestions for other characters this can be done with?
If you try to define a word with no meaning, good luck 世界。
此致敬礼，欣妍 – From Xinyan.
I was originally going to title this post “words with no meaning”, but then I know that would lead to a philosophical discourse on quantifying meaning and I don’t want to get into that right now.