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小.svg
U+5C0F, 小
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-5C0F

[U+5C0E]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+5C10]
U+2F29, ⼩
KANGXI RADICAL SMALL

[U+2F28]
Kangxi Radicals
[U+2F2A]

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
3 strokes
Stroke order
小-order.gif

Han character[edit]

(radical 42, +0, 3 strokes, cangjie input 弓金 (NC), four-corner 90000, composition)

  1. Kangxi radical #42, .
  2. Shuowen Jiezi radical №15

Derived characters[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • KangXi: page 296, character 18
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 7473
  • Dae Jaweon: page 587, character 8
  • Hanyu Da Zidian (first edition): volume 1, page 560, character 12
  • Unihan data for U+5C0F

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 Qin slip script Small seal script Transcribed ancient scripts
小-oracle.svg 小-bronze.svg 小-slip.svg 小-seal.svg 小-bigseal.svg

Two possible interpretations:

  • Ideogram (指事) – three small dots > small.
  • Pictogram (象形) – three granules of sand – original character of (OC *sraːl, *sraːls) > small.

Starting from some bronze inscriptions, the dots have become elongated. Based on this form, Shuowen erroneously considers it to be an ideogrammic compound (會意): (to divide; to separate) + (small object).

Compare with (OC *hmjewʔ, *hmjews), represented by four dots in its oracle bone script form.

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation[edit]


Note:
  • sió - vernacular;
  • siáu - literary.
  • (Teochew)
    • Peng'im: siê2 / sio2 / siao2 / siou2
    • Pe̍h-ōe-jī-like: sié / sió / siáu / sióu
    • Sinological IPA (key): /sie⁵²/, /sio⁵²/, /siau⁵²/, /siou⁵²/
Note:
  • siê2/sio2 - vernacular;
  • siao2/siou2 - literary.
  • Wu
  • Xiang

  • Rime
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Initial () (16)
    Final () (91)
    Tone (調) Rising (X)
    Openness (開合) Open
    Division () III
    Fanqie
    Reconstructions
    Zhengzhang
    Shangfang
    /siᴇuX/
    Pan
    Wuyun
    /siɛuX/
    Shao
    Rongfen
    /sjæuX/
    Edwin
    Pulleyblank
    /siawX/
    Li
    Rong
    /siɛuX/
    Wang
    Li
    /sĭɛuX/
    Bernard
    Karlgren
    /si̯ɛuX/
    Expected
    Mandarin
    Reflex
    xiǎo
    Expected
    Cantonese
    Reflex
    siu2
    BaxterSagart system 1.1 (2014)
    Character
    Reading # 1/1
    Modern
    Beijing
    (Pinyin)
    xiǎo
    Middle
    Chinese
    ‹ sjewX ›
    Old
    Chinese
    /*[s]ewʔ/
    English small

    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. 13705
    Phonetic
    component
    Rime
    group
    Rime
    subdivision
    2
    Corresponding
    MC rime
    Old
    Chinese
    /*smewʔ/
    Notes

    Definitions[edit]

    1. small, tiny, little
      小孩 (xiǎohái, “child”)
      Antonym: ()
    2. minor, petty
    3. briefly, for a short while
      小憩 (xiǎoqì, “brief rest”)
    4. slightly, a little
    5. young
        ―  xiǎogǒu  ―  puppy
      /   ―  xiǎomāo  ―  kitten
        ―  xiǎoyáng  ―  lamb
      嬰兒自己東西 [MSC, trad.]
      婴儿自己东西 [MSC, simp.]
      Zhè yīng'ér tài xiǎo le, bù néng zìjǐ chī dōngxī. [Pinyin]
      The baby is too young to feed itself.
      Antonym: (lǎo)
    6. (the) youngest
      兒子 / 儿子  ―  xiǎo'érzǐ  ―  youngest son
    7. a young person; child, kid, baby
      一家老  ―  yījiālǎoxiǎo  ―  the entire family, old and young
    8. Prefix used in front of family name to indicate informality or affection (for young people, (lǎo) for elder people).
      For example, Someone called 李國寶/李国宝 can be called 小李.
    9. (humble) my, our
        ―  xiǎo  ―  [humble] I
        ―  xiǎo  ―  [humble] my daughter
        ―  xiǎode  ―  [humble] I
    10. Short for 小學小学 (xiǎoxué, “primary school”). Used only in the abbreviation of a school name.
        ―  Èr Xiǎo  ―  No.2 Primary School
    11. (euphemistic, Cantonese) a euphemism of (diǎo)
      [Guangzhou Cantonese]  ―  siu2 nei5! [Jyutping]  ―  Duck you!
    12. (Gan) concubine
    Synonyms[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    Descendants[edit]

    Sino-Xenic ():
    • Japanese: (しょう) (shō)
    • Korean: (, so)
    • Vietnamese: tiểu ()

    References[edit]


    Japanese[edit]

    Kanji[edit]

    (grade 1 “Kyōiku” kanji)

    Readings[edit]

    Compounds[edit]

    See also[edit]

    Etymology 1[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    しょう
    Grade: 1
    on’yomi

    /seu//ɕeu//ɕoː/

    From Middle Chinese (MC siᴇuX).

    The suffix sense is a clipping of 小学校 (shōgakkō, elementary school).

    Pronunciation[edit]

    Noun[edit]

    (しょう) (shōせう (seu)?

    1. smallness; small size, small (sometimes used as an abbreviation for small serving, etc.)
    2. Short for 小の月 (shō no tsuki).
    3. (historical) during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, a unit of field area equal to around 400 square metres. (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
      100 square footsteps before the Taikō land survey, and 120 square footsteps after.
    Antonyms[edit]
    Derived terms[edit]
    Idioms[edit]
    Coordinate terms[edit]
    • (historical unit):

    Prefix[edit]

    (しょう) (shō-せう (seu)?

    1. small, little

    Suffix[edit]

    (しょう) (-shōせう (seu)?

    1. suffix after names of elementary schools
      (つくだ)(しょう)
      tsukuda-shō
      Tsukuda Elementary School

    Proper noun[edit]

    (しょう) (Shōせう (seu)?

    1. a surname​.

    Etymology 2[edit]

    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    /ko1//ko/

    From the Old Japanese stem (ko-). Cognate with (ko, child).

    Prefix[edit]

    () (ko-

    1. less in size or quantity, small, little, short
    2. less in intensity, small, light, slight
    3. of secondary importance, secondary, sub-
    4. infant

    Related terms[edit]

    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 3[edit]

    Kanji in this term

    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    /wo//o/

    From the Old Japanese stem (wo-), modern (o-).

    Prefix[edit]

    () (o- (wo)?

    1. attached to certain nouns:
      1. small in shape or scale
        (ogawa, creek, literally "small river")
        (obune, small boat)
      2. attached to certain names to give expression or feelings (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
        (Oda, literally, "small rice paddy")
        (Ono, literally, "small field")
    2. used proverbially to represent "small" or "slight" (Can we verify(+) this sense?)
      小止みなく降る雨 (oyaminaku furu ame)
      小暗い (ogurai michi)

    Derived terms[edit]

    Etymology 4[edit]

    Kanji in this term
    ささ
    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi
    Kanji in this term
    さざ
    Grade: 1
    kun’yomi

    From the Old Japanese stem ささ (sasa-), found in terms such as (sasa, bamboo grass), 囁く (sasayaku, to whisper), and 些か (isasaka, a little), all related to small or slight.

    Saza appears to be a later derivation from sasa.

    Alternative forms[edit]

    Prefix[edit]

    (ささ) or (さざ) (sasa- or saza-

    1. attached to certain nouns to mean:
      1. small
      2. fine
      3. slight

    Derived terms[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
    2. ^ 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 siᴇuX).

    Historical Readings
    Dongguk Jeongun Reading
    Dongguk Jeongun, 1448 쇼ᇢ〯 (Yale: sywǒw)
    Middle Korean
    Text Eumhun
    Gloss (hun) Reading
    Sinjeung Yuhap, 1576 자ᄀᆞᆯ (Yale: cakol) (Yale: sywo)

    Pronunciation[edit]

    • (SK Standard/Seoul) IPA(key): [sʰo̞(ː)]
    • Phonetic hangul: [(ː)]
      • Long vowel distinction only applies at the initial position. Most speakers no longer distinguish vowel length at any position.

    Hanja[edit]

    Korean Wikisource has texts containing the hanja:

    Wikisource

    (eumhun 작을 (jageul so))

    1. Hanja form? of (smallness; small things).

    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. [2]

    Vietnamese[edit]

    Han character[edit]

    : Hán Việt readings: tiểu[1][2][3]
    : Nôm readings: tiểu[1][2][3][4], tẻo[1][3], tĩu[3]

    1. (only before noun) Hán tự form of tiểu (small).

    Compounds[edit]

    References[edit]