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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
Commons:Category
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Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
3 strokes
Stroke order

Han character[edit]

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

  1. Kangxi radical #39, .

Derived characters[edit]

References[edit]

  • Kangxi Dictionary: 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.
alternative forms

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 Oracle bone script Chu slip and silk script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts

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]

child
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”).
first earthly branch
In oracle bone and Western Zhou bronze inscriptions, was the sixth earthly branch; the first earthly branch was denoted differently (Smith, 2011; Matsumaru, 2015). One of the forms survived in Shuo Wen (𢀇).
Smith (2011) proposed this character is . Observing that is closely linked with "dark, stained", "murky (water)", "field cleared by burning" (all pronounced *tsrə), Smith (2011) proposes that initially the first earthly branch (OC *ts[r]əʔ) denoted the new moon phase and meant "darkened, voided, the darkened stage". Additionally, Smith (2011) proposes that (OC tsəʔ), which originated from a Sino-Tibetan root meaning "to come forth", denoted the moon's "coming forth" stage (i.e. early waning-gibbous phase).
Sometime in Warring States period, a change occured that became the first earthly branch and (OC *s-ləʔ) filled the void of the sixth earthly branch (Matsumaru, 2015), "due to phonological closeness (combined with the semantic opacity of the Branch terms at later eras)" (Smith, 2011).
Association with the rat was possibly arbitrary, analogous to how , the fifth earthly branch, was arbitrarily associated with the dragon (Ferlus, 2013).

Pronunciation 1[edit]


Note: cī - “seed”.
Note:
  • chú/chír - literary;
  • chí - colloquial (“seed; egg”).
Note:
  • ze2/zu2 - literary (zu2 - Chaoyang);
  • zi2 - colloquial.

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (13)
Final () (19)
Tone (調) Rising (X)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () III
Fanqie
Baxter tsiX
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. (literary) child; offspring
  2. son
    獨生独生  ―  dúshēng  ―  only son
      ―  ài  ―  beloved son
      ―  yī nǚ  ―  one son and one daughter
  3. (literary) descendant; posterity
  4. (Christianity) the Son
  5. (in compounds) person
      ―    ―  female; woman
  6. (literary) master; teacher
  7. (literary) A respectful title for teachers, usually attached after their surnames.
      ―  Kǒng  ―  Master Kong (Confucius)
      ―  Lǎo  ―  Laozi
  8. (literary, polite) you
  9. Alternative form of (, seed); also its second-round simplified form.
    葵花  ―  kuíhuāzǐ  ―  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  ―  zǐmùlù  ―  subdirectory
  13. (astrology) First earthly branch: rat in the Chinese zodiac, 11th solar month, midnight (11:00 pm to 1:00 am)
  14. (historical) viscount (fourth of five ranks of Chinese aristocracy under the Zhou dynasty)
  15. (physics, biology) -on
  16. a surname
  17. (Southern Min) grain-like object; particle; granule
  18. (Southern Min, music) rhythm
  19. (Southern Min) 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
Baxter tsiX
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:
    1. Used to nominalize.
        ―  píngzi  ―  bottle
        ―  shuāzi  ―  brush
        ―  pàngzi  ―  fat person
    2. (colloquial) Used in some classifiers.
      一下  ―  yīxiàzi  ―  all of a sudden
Synonyms[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Pronunciation 3[edit]

Definitions[edit]

(Hokkien)

  1. small, round object
    算盤算盘 [Hokkien]  ―  sǹg-pôaⁿ- [Pe̍h-ōe-jī]  ―  abacus bead
  2. (Xiamen and Quanzhou Hokkien) Classifier for small objects.
  3. (Zhangzhou and Taiwanese Hokkien) Classifier for bananas.

Descendants[edit]

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

Others:

  • Vietnamese: (a little bit)

Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

  1. (gender-neutral) child
  2. (archaic) honorific for an adult man
  3. (archaic) honorific for a learned man, master
  4. (archaic) man (in general)
  5. (historical) 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)
  11. midnight
  12. north
  • (midnight, north): Antonyms :

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with the visually similar , an obsolete variant form (変体仮名) of the katakana (ne) not encoded in Unicode.

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 1
kun’yomi
Alternative spellings
(uncommon)
(female)

⟨ko1 → */kʷo//ko/

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

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

Possibly cognate with Goguryeo (*gu), which appears in an ancient place name with an apparent meaning of child.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]