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Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
子-order.gif

Etymology[edit]

Pictogram (象形) – an image of a baby, with a large head and spread arms. Compare , of the same origin.

子 子 子 子
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Large seal script Small seal script

Han character[edit]

(radical 39 +0, 3 strokes, cangjie input 弓木 (ND), four-corner 17407, composition))

  1. offspring, child, son, daughter, being
  2. fruit, seed of
  3. first of twelve earth branches (十二支): rat or mouse () of Chinese zodiac
  4. master, e.g. Kongzi and Laozi meaning "Master Kong" and "Master Lao"
  5. a suffix indicating that the term to which it is attached is a noun

Derived characters[edit]

Related characters[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 277, character 1
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 6930
  • Dae Jaweon: page 543, character 15
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 2, page 1006, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+5B50

Cantonese[edit]

Hanzi[edit]

(Jyutping zi2, Yale ji2)


Hakka[edit]

Hanzi[edit]

(POJ tsṳ́, Guangdong tsii3 [Meixian, Hailu, Kwangtung]; tsu3, Hagfa Pinyim zi3)

References[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Old Japanese.[1] Seen in the Kojiki and the Man'yōshū, two of the oldest examples of written Japanese. Cognate with (ko, silkworm). Also possibly cognate with (ko, little, diminutive prefix).

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (less commonly used)

Noun[edit]

(hiragana , romaji ko)

  1. a child
    男のおとこのotoko no ko — male child: a boy
  2. (figuratively) a girl, especially a dear or desired one (compare use of English baby, babe)
    • c. 759: Man'yōshū (book 7, poem #1266); text here
      大舟乎 荒海尓榜出 八船多氣 吾見之等之 目見者知之母
      大船を 荒海に漕ぎ出で や船たけ 我が見しらが まみはしるしも
      おほぶねを あるみにこぎで やふねたけ わがみしらが まみはしるしも
      Ōbune o / arumi ni kogi de / ya fune take / waga mishi kora ga / mami wa shirushi mo
      Rowing the big boat into the rough seas, putting our backs into it, the looks of those girls I saw are clear [in my mind]}}
  3. a smaller or younger version of a bigger object
    きのkinoko — a "tree's child / little one": a mushroom
    竹のたけのtakenoko — a "bamboo's child / little one": a bamboo shoot
Derived terms[edit]

Prefix[edit]

(hiragana , romaji ko)

  1. an object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object
    会社 がいしゃkogaisha — a subsidiary
    いぬkoinu — a puppy
Derived terms[edit]

Suffix[edit]

(hiragana , romaji ko)

  1. suffix used in female given names, such as 智子 (ともこ, ​Tomoko), 英子 (えいこ, ​Eiko), 秀子 (ひでこ, ​Hideko), 美奈子 (みなこ, ​Minako)
  2. (rare) suffix used in male given names
  3. an object having a particular state or property (sometimes diminutive)
    ふりfuriko — an object that swings: a pendulum
  4. roe (only when preceded by a fish name, or fish-related prefix)
    明太めんたいmentaiko — pollock roe
    とびtobiko — flying fish roe
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle Chinese (tsiX). Compare modern Mandarin ().

The goon reading of shi is likely the original borrowing. The tōon reading su appears later, and only shows up in certain set terms borrowed from Chinese, where it seems to serve as a kind of nominalizing suffix.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • On'yomi
  • IPA(key): [ɕi], [sɯᵝ] (second reading less common, only used in word-final position)

Affix[edit]

(hiragana , romaji shi) (alternative reading hiragana , romaji su)

  1. a child
  2. an object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object
  3. an object having a particular state or property (sometimes diminutive)
    中性ちゅうせいchūseishi — a neutral small thing: a neutron
    isu — literally, a chair small thing: a chair
Usage notes[edit]
  • This affix is never used in isolation. It is only used in on'yomi compounds.
  • In some kanji compounds, is part of the word but does not carry much meaning in Japanese, as in 椅子 (isu, chair). Possibly because of this erosion of meaning, spelling out in some compounds has become optional, as in 椰子 vs. (yashi, a palm tree), or 柚子 vs. (yuzu, an aromatic citron).
  • In some compounds, the shi or su reading becomes voiced as ji or zu due to rendaku.
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan

Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

(ja)
Eumhun:

  • Sound (hangeul):  (revised: ja, McCune-Reischauer: cha)

Mandarin[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Hanzi[edit]

(Pinyin (zi3), zi (zi), Wade-Giles tzu3, tzu)

Pronunciation[edit]

Mandarin (Standard Chinese, Beijing)
Pinyin
Zhuyin ㄗˇ
IPA (key) /t͡sz̩²¹⁴⁻²¹⁽⁴⁾/
Audio
(file)

Noun[edit]

(traditional and simplified, Pinyin )

  1. (literary) son; child
  2. (literary) person
  3. (astrology) First Earthly Branche, rat in the Chinese zodiac, 11th solar month, 11pm to 1am (midnight)
  4. (literary) master
    孔子
    Master Kong (Confucius)
  5. Viscount , fourth of five orders of chinese nobility 五等爵位

See also[edit]

Prefix[edit]

(traditional and simplified, Pinyin )

  1. young; tender; small
  2. sub-
    trad. 子目錄, simpl. 子目录
    subdirectory

Suffix[edit]

(traditional and simplified, Pinyin zi)

  1. (Intermediate Mandarin) a suffix for small objects
  2. (Intermediate Mandarin) a suffix for single-syllable nouns
    瓶子 bottle

Suffix[edit]

(traditional and simplified, Pinyin )

  1. seed
    葵花子 sunflower seed
  2. fruit
  3. egg

Pronoun[edit]

(traditional and simplified, Pinyin )

  1. (literary) you

Compounds[edit]

References[edit]

  • "" (in Mandarin), Guoyu Cidian On-line Mandarin Dictionary (國語辭典). URL accessed on 2011-01-29.
  • "" (in Mandarin/English), MDBG English to Chinese dictionary ( Based on CC-CEDICT ). URL accessed on 2014-03-17.

Middle Chinese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(*tziə̌)


Min Nan[edit]

Hanzi[edit]

(TLPA tsú (tsu2), tsí (tsi2), jí (ji2), lí (li2))

References[edit]


Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(tử, , , tở, bình, huỳnh)

References[edit]