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gw u5b50.svg
U+5B50, 子
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5B50

[U+5B4F]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+5B51]
U+2F26, ⼦
KANGXI RADICAL CHILD

[U+2F25]
Kangxi Radicals
[U+2F27]
Commons:Category
Wikimedia Commons has more media related to:

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
3 strokes
Stroke order
子-order.gif

Han character[edit]

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

  1. Kangxi radical #39, .

Derived characters[edit]

References[edit]

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

Further reading[edit]


Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Shang Western Zhou Warring States Shuowen Jiezi (compiled in Han) Liushutong (compiled in Ming)
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Chu Slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
子-oracle.svg 子-bronze.svg 子-silk.svg 子-seal.svg 子-bigseal.svg

Pictogram (象形) – an image of a baby, with a large head and spread arms. The legs are wrapped in a blanket. Compare with , where the arms are wrapped.

The big seal script form is much more elaborate, showing a baby with hair on a head () and arms on the two sides of the body, sitting on a stool ().

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Sino-Tibetan *tsa ~ za (child, offspring, relatives; to come forth (as child at birth); to love; loving).

Cognate with (OC *zlɯs, “character; letter”), (OC *zɯ, “loving; kind”), (OC *ʔsɯ, “to grow, to breed, to propagate, to bring about, to increase”), (OC *ʔsɯ, *zɯs, “to breed, to propagate”).

Pronunciation 1[edit]


Note:
  • chú/chír - literary;
  • chí - colloquial (“seed; egg”).
Note:
  • ze2 - literary;
  • zi2 - colloquial.
  • Wu
  • Xiang

  • Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (13)
    Final () (19)
    Tone (調) Rising (X)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () III
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /t͡sɨX/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /t͡sɨX/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /t͡sieX/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /t͡sɨX/
    Li
    Rong
    /t͡siəX/
    Wang
    Li
    /t͡sĭəX/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /t͡siX/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    Expected
    Cantonese
    Reflex
    zi2
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/2 2/2
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ tsiX › ‹ tsiX ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*[ts]əʔ/ /*tsəʔ/
    English 1st earthly branch child; gentleman, master

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 17857
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    0
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*ʔslɯʔ/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. child; offspring
    2. son
      獨生 / 独生  ―  dúshēng  ―  only son
    3. descendant; posterity
    4. (Christianity) the Son
    5. person
        ―    ―  female; woman
    6. master; teacher
    7. A respectful suffix for teachers, usually attached to their surnames.
        ―  Kǒng  ―  Master Kong (Confucius)
        ―  Lǎo  ―  Laocius
    8. (polite) you
    9. Alternative form of (, “seed”); also its second-round simplified form.
      葵花  ―  kuíhuā  ―  sunflower seed
    10. egg
      /   ―    ―  caviar
    11. young; tender; small
    12. Prefix attached to nouns, denoting "a part of", "belonging to" or "individual". sub-
      目錄 / 目录  ―  mùlù  ―  subdirectory
    13. (astrology) First earthly branch: rat in the Chinese zodiac, 11th solar month, midnight (11:00 pm to 1:00 am)
    14. Viscount, fourth of five ranks of Chinese aristocracy under the Zhou dynasty.
    15. (physics, biology) -on
    16. A surname.
    17. (Min Nan) grain-like object; particle; granule
    18. (Min Nan, music) rhythm
    19. (Min Nan) Classifier for small, round objects: granule, grain, particle, piece
    Synonyms[edit]
    Coordinate terms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Pronunciation 2[edit]



    Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (13)
    Final () (19)
    Tone (調) Rising (X)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () III
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /t͡sɨX/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /t͡sɨX/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /t͡sieX/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /t͡sɨX/
    Li
    Rong
    /t͡siəX/
    Wang
    Li
    /t͡sĭəX/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /t͡siX/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    Expected
    Cantonese
    Reflex
    zi2
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/2 2/2
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ tsiX › ‹ tsiX ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*[ts]əʔ/ /*tsəʔ/
    English 1st earthly branch child; gentleman, master

    Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter–Sagart system:

    * Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
    * Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
    * Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
    * Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

    * Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
    Zhengzhang system (2003)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    No. 17857
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    0
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*ʔslɯʔ/

    Definitions[edit]

    1. Suffix for small objects or general diminutive suffix.
      •   ―  píngzi  ―  bottle
    Synonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Pronunciation 3[edit]

    Definitions[edit]

    (Hokkien)

    1. small, round object
    2. (Xiamen, Quanzhou) Classifier for small objects.
    3. (Zhangzhou, Taiwan) Classifier for bananas.

    Descendants[edit]

    Sino-Xenic ():
    • Japanese: () (shi); () (su)
    • Korean: (, ja)
    • Vietnamese: tử ()

    Others:

    • Vietnamese: (a little bit)

    Japanese[edit]

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    1. child
    2. honorific for an adult man
    3. honorific for a learned man, master
    4. man in general
    5. fourth rank of nobility in Meiji-postwar Japan, viscount
    6. egg, fruit, seed
    7. small object
    8. interest
    9. diminutive suffix
    10. Rat (earthly branch)

    Readings[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Usage notes[edit]

    is also an obsolete variant form of the katakana (ne).

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    ⟨ko1 → */kʷo//ko/

    From Old Japanese,[1] attested in the Kojiki (712 C.E.) and the Man'yōshū (c. 759 C.E.), two of the oldest examples of written Japanese.

    Cognate with (ko, silkworm) and possibly (ko, little, diminutive prefix).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Alternative forms[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    () (ko (counter )

    1. a child
      • 2007 October 20, Izawa, Hiroshi; Yamada, Kotaro, “(だい)39() (りゅう)(ほう)(こう) [Chapter 39: Dragon’s Roar]”, in ファイアーエムブレム 覇者の剣 [Fire Emblem: Sword of Champions], volume 5 (fiction), Jump Remix edition, Tokyo: Shueisha, →ISBN, page 113:
        ここまで(たたか)ってきたのに…まんまと(ふう)(いん)されちまって()(あし)()ないなんて…(なに)が…ハルトムートの()だ…(なに)(りゅう)()だ‼
        Koko made tatakatte kita no ni… manmato fūin sarechimatte te mo ashi mo denai nan te… Nani ga… Harutomūto no ko da… Nani ga ryū no ko da‼
        I’ve fought my way to this point… only to end up being sealed, unable to move at all… So what… if I’m Hartmut’s son… So what if I’m a dragon child⁉
      • 2007 October 20, Izawa, Hiroshi; Yamada, Kotaro, “(さい)(しゅう)() それぞれの(みち) [Final Chapter: Epilog]”, in ファイアーエムブレム 覇者の剣 [Fire Emblem: Sword of Champions], volume 5 (fiction), Jump Remix edition, Tokyo: Shueisha, →ISBN, page 355:
        (のち)にラグナのセルディアと(むす)ばれ8(にん)()(もう)けた
        Nochi ni Raguna no Serudia to musubare hachinin no ko o mōketa
        He later had 8 children with Celdia of Ragna
      (otoko no ko): male childboy
      いい (ii ko): good boy; good girl
    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(おほぶね)()荒海(あるみ)()(こぎ)()()船多(ふね)(たけ)(わが)見之(みし)()等之(らが)目見者(まみは)(しる)之母(しも) [Man'yōgana]
        大船(おほぶね)荒海(あるみ)()()(ふね)たけ()()()らがまみはしるしも [Modern spelling]
        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
      (ki no ko): tree + child/little one (kinoko, mushroom)
      (take no ko): bamboo + child/little one (takenoko, bamboo shoot)
    Derived terms[edit]

    Prefix[edit]

    () (ko-

    1. an object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object
      会社 (kogaisha): derivative + company → a subsidiary
      (koinu): derivative + dog → a puppy
    Derived terms[edit]

    Suffix[edit]

    () (-ko

    1. suffix used in female given names, such as 智子 (​Tomoko), 英子 (​Eiko), 秀子 (​Hideko), 美奈子 (​Minako)
    2. (rare) suffix used in male given names
    3. an object having a particular state or property (sometimes diminutive)
      (furiko): an object that swings → a pendulum
    4. roe (only when preceded by a fish name, or fish-related prefix)
      明太 (mentaiko, pollock roe)
      (tobiko, flying fish roe)
    Derived terms[edit]

    Proper noun[edit]

    () (Ko

    1. a surname

    Etymology 2[edit]

    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    on’yomi
    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    on’yomi

    From Middle Chinese (MC t͡sɨX), also used in the Man'yōshū (c. 759 C.E.) as 借音 (shakuon) kana for ⟨si⟩. Compare modern Mandarin ().

    The goon reading of shi is likely the original borrowing:

    /t͡sɨ//sɨ/ → */ɕɨ//ɕi/

    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:

    /t͡sɨ//sɨ/ → */sʉ//su/

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Affix[edit]

    () or () (shi or su

    1. a child
    2. Short for 子爵 (shishaku): the fourth rank of nobility in Meiji-postwar Japan, equivalent to a viscount
    3. an honorific for a learned man, such as teacher or master
    4. a philosophy branch of Chinese literature, either derived from or outside of the Hundred Schools of Thought
    5. an object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object
    6. an object having a particular state or property (sometimes diminutive)
      中性 (chūseishi): neutral + small thing → a neutron
      (isu): 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]

    Pronoun[edit]

    () (shi

    1. (archaic) second-person pronoun: you (of one's equals)

    Proper noun[edit]

    () (Shi

    1. (Chinese astrology) Rat, the first of the twelve Earthly Branches

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
    Wikipedia ja
    English Wikipedia has an article on:
    Wikipedia
    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    Contracted from (nezumi, mouse, rat).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Proper noun[edit]

    () (Ne

    1. (Chinese astrology) Rat, the first of the twelve Earthly Branches:
      1. north
        Synonym: (kita)
      2. the hours between 11:00 P.M./midnight and 1:00/2:00 A.M.
      3. a day or year assigned to the Rat
      4. the eleventh month of the lunar calendar
    2. a place name
    Derived terms[edit]

    Syllable[edit]

    (ne)

    1. (dated, until the 19th century) variant katakana syllable (ne).
      • Udagawa Yōan, 遠西医方名物考, vol. 4, 1822
        剥篤(ポット)亞斯(アス) 「シレス、カラーヘルラチ」
        […] 是ヲ燒ク法、曠野ニ一大坑ヲ穿チ其底ト内圍ニ(アマ)ク瓦磗ヲ(シキ)、樹ノ幹枝𪜈ニ(キリ)テ其内ニ積ミ(モヤ)(オハリ)テ煙消シ通紅トナルトキ尋常()灰汁(アク)ヲ取テ少シ(ツヽ)頻〻ニ(マキチラ)ストキハ其灰ノ鹽氣凝結𬼀堅キ塊片トナル。
      • 第1回国会参法一覧
        小杉イ議員

    Etymology 4[edit]

    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    Noun[edit]

    () (mi

    1. (archaic, rare) Alternative spelling of (mi): a fruit, nut, or seed (of a plant, tree, etc.); ingredients put in a soup; a content, substance

    References[edit]

    1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
    2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    3. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN

    Korean[edit]

    Etymology[edit]

    From Middle Chinese (MC t͡sɨX). Recorded as Middle Korean ᄌᆞ〮 (Yale: ) in Hunmong Jahoe (訓蒙字會 / 훈몽자회), 1527.

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Hanja[edit]

    Korean Wikisource has texts containing the hanja:

    Wikisource

    (eumhun 아들 (adeul ja))

    1. Hanja form? of (son; man).
    2. Hanja form? of (offspring).

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]

    • 국제퇴계학회 대구경북지부 (國際退溪學會 大邱慶北支部) (2007). Digital Hanja Dictionary, 전자사전/電子字典. [1]

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Hán tự in this term

    Hán Tự[edit]

    : Hán Việt readings: ((tức)()(thiết))[1][2], tử[2][3], [3]
    : Nôm readings: [1][2], tử[2][4], [1], tít[2], tở[3]

    1. Hán tự form of (first earthly branch).
    2. Hán tự form of (a little bit; small).
    3. Nôm form of tử (child; son; small thing).
      • 1888, Trương Vĩnh Ký, Chuyện Đời Xưa, sheet 40
        父業能乘,君恩臣可報。
        Phụ nghiệp, tử năng thừa; Quân ân, thần khả báo.
        A father's lifework, the child shall succeed; the King's graces, the subjects shall repay.
      • 1873, “Bích Câu Kỳ Ngộ”, lines 17-18
        朝黎當會太和,固陳公𠸛羅秀渊。
        Triều Lê đương hội thái hòa, Có Trần công tử tên là Tú Uyên.
        In the Lê court's festival of Great Peace, there exists a noble lord named Tran Tu Uyen.

    References[edit]