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See also: , , , , , , and

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
子-order.gif

Han character[edit]

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

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

Chinese[edit]

simp. and trad.

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character
Oracle bone script Bronze inscriptions Bamboo and silk script Large seal script Small seal script
子-oracle.svg 子-bronze.svg 子-silk.svg 子-bigseal.svg 子-seal.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. Also compare , of the same origin.

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[edit]


Middle Chinese pronunciation (, reconstructed)
Character (), Pronunciation 1/1

Initial: (13)
Final: (19)
Tone: Rising (X)

Openness: Open
Division: III
Fanqie:

Expected Mandarin reflex: zǐ
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
Pan
Wuyun
Shao
Rongfen
Edwin
Pulleyblank
Li
Rong
Wang
Li
Bernard
Karlgren
/t͡sɨX/ /t͡sɨX/ /t͡sieX/ /t͡sɨX/ /t͡siəX/ /t͡sĭəX/ /t͡siX/
Old Chinese pronunciation (, reconstructed)
Baxter-Sagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character Modern Beijing
(Pinyin)
Middle Chinese Old Chinese English
‹ tsiX › /*[ts]əʔ/ 1st earthly branch
‹ tsiX › /*tsəʔ/ 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 No. Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
Corresponding
MC rime
Old Chinese Notes
17857 0 /*ʔslɯʔ/

Definitions[edit]

  1. child, offspring
  2. son
  3. descendant, posterity
  4. person
    •   ―    ―  female; woman
  5. master, teacher
  6. A respectful suffix attached to people's family names.
  7. you
  8. Alternative form of (, “seed”).
    • 葵花  ―  kuíhuā  ―  sunflower seed
  9. Suffix for small objects or general diminutive suffix.
    •   ―  píngzi  ―  bottle
  10. young; tender; small
  11. Prefix attached to nouns, denoting "a part of", "belonging to" or "individual". sub-
  12. (astrology) First earthly branch: rat in the Chinese zodiac, 11th solar month, 11pm to 1am (midnight)
  13. Viscount, fourth of five ranks of Chinese aristocracy under the Zhou dynasty.

Synonyms[edit]

Dialectal synonyms of 兒子 ("son")
Variety Location Words
Classical Classical
Mandarin Beijing 兒子小子
Taiwan 兒子
Tianjin 兒子小子
Harbin 兒子
Shenyang 兒子
Jinan 兒子小子
Muping 兒郎
Luoyang 兒子
Wanrong
Xi'an 兒子
Xining 兒子
Xuzhou 兒子
Yinchuan 兒子
Ürümqi 兒子
Wuhan 兒子
Chengdu 兒子
Guiyang 兒子男娃娃男娃兒
Liuzhou
Kunming 兒子
Yangzhou 兒子
Nanjing 兒子
Hefei 兒子
Cantonese Guangzhou
Hong Kong
Taishan
Dongguan
Yangjiang
Gan Nanchang
Lichuan
Pingxiang
Hakka Meixian 倈仔
Yudu
Miaoli (N. Sixian) 倈仔
Liudui (S. Sixian) 倈仔
Hsinchu (Hailu) 倈仔
Dongshi (Dabu)
Taiwanese Raoping 倈仔
Yunlin (Zhao'an) 後生
Hui Jixi 兒子
Jin Taiyuan 兒子小子
Xinzhou 小子
Min Bei Jian'ou
Min Dong Fuzhou 丈夫囝
Min Nan Quanzhou 後生
Xiamen 後生後的
Zhangzhou 後生
Taipei 後生
Kaohsiung 後生
Tainan 後生後的
Taichung 後生
Yilan 後生
Lukang 後生
Sanxia 後生
Kinmen 後生
Magong 後生
Hsinchu 後生
Malaysia 後生
Chaozhou 逗囝
Haikou
Pinghua Nanning
Wu Shanghai 兒子
Suzhou 兒子
Hangzhou 兒子
Wenzhou
Chongming 兒子
Danyang 兒子
Jinhua
Ningbo 兒子
Xiang Changsha 崽伢子伢子
Shuangfeng 伢基
Loudi
Dialectal synonyms of ("general diminutive suffix")
Variety Location Words
Mandarin Beijing
Cantonese Guangzhou
Min Dong Fuzhou
Min Nan Xiamen

Compounds[edit]

Appendix:Chinese compounds/子

Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 1
kun'yomi

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
    いいいい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]

Kanji in this term

Grade: 1
on'yomi
Kanji in this term

Grade: 1
on'yomi

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]

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
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  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 978-4-14-011112-3

Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

‎(ja)
Eumhun:

  • Sound (hangeul):  (revised: ja, McCune-Reischauer: cha)
  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.

Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(tử, , , tở, bình, huỳnh)

  1. This entry needs a definition. Please add one, then remove {{defn}}.

References[edit]