Graphical significance and origin
I think this description given for this character's origin is inaccurate. I believe the character is actually a 形聲字 (a phonetic compound character), with the lower portion representing alcohol as an anesthetic, as was stated, but with the upper portion 殹 representing the phonetic complement yì, as well as a secondary semantic meaning of an bad or ill sound. 殹 is an old character that represented the sound of an arrow striking something (arrows in a quiver + strike). 醫 (yī): 酉 (alcohol) + 殹 (yì/ill sound). User:LeeWilson 04:33, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
- You should discuss it with User_talk:A-cai, our resident Chinese expert. —Stephen 05:32, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
- I agree with the above assessment. I think the misunderstanding here comes from a misreading of an English definition. 匚 could be defined as chest in the sense of box, case, or basket. 匚 does NOT mean chest in the sense of the upper torso of a person. I wrote a new version (along with citations), please feel free to edit for readability:
- 醫 is both a phono-semantic compound character (形聲), and a compound indicative (會意). As a phono-semantic compound character (形聲), it contains two parts: 殹 (pinyin: yī) and 酉 (pinyin: yǒu). 殹 is the sound component, whereas 酉 (referring to the alcohol used during a medical procedure) helps to convey the meaning of the word. It also works as a compound indicative (會意), because 殹 literally means to groan (original meaning: the sound of being struck by an arrow). 殹 is composed of two parts: 医 (which provides the sound) and 殳 (a weapon, the meaning component). Finally, Shuowen Jiezi defines 医 as 盛弓弩矢器 (literally: a device for holding the arrows of bows and/or crossbows).
A-cai 07:57, 21 July 2006 (UTC)