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One of the following:
  • 1, p: Pictograms (象形)
  • 2, i: Ideograms (指事)
  • 3, ic: Ideogrammic compounds (會意)
  • 4, psc: Phono-semantic compounds (形聲)
Changes the first letter to lowercase.
The radical-stroke ordering for correct sorting in categories (such as 金05); this can generally be copied from {{Han char}}.

As usual, etymologies should be referenced. Shuowen Jiezi is a standard reference from the early 2nd century CE, and is valuable but sometimes inaccurate.


  • The overwhelming majority of Chinese characters (90+%) are phono-semantic compounds.
  • Beware of etymologies based on current forms (especially claims that a character is an ideogrammic compound) – the current form is often a simplification of an older form, which may not be related to the current components.
  • Richard Sear’s Chinese Etymology may prove a useful resource, showing older forms.

See also[edit]