Japanese
Chinese
Graphical etymology
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seven
on: SHICHI
kun: nana nana-tsu nano
names: shi shi na hichi
strokes: 2
radical: (no. 1) (Nelson uses , , no. 5)
seven; 7;
pinyin:
strokes: 2
radical: (no. 1) (Nelson uses , , no. 5)

Graphical etymology

Qiú expects 七 simply to be a very old arbitrary sign.¹ However, other scholars think it likely that 七 is an old loangraph. This connects to the theory that 七 is the protoform of “to cut” .² However, since 切 only appears in seal script in about the third century BCE, there is no proof of its development from 七 to 切 (in other words, 七 may simply be the phonetic in 切).³

Mnemonics

七 looks like an inverted handwritten seven (with a horizontal line) .

Notes

  1. Qiú, 2000, p 32; p. 168.
  2. Seeley et al., p. 54; Ochiai, 2016, p. 583.
  3. Conjecture.

Comments

In legal documents 漆 may be used in stead of 七. See also the Suzhou numerals for other ways to write the numerals.

2019-06-04

Additional details for 七

Morohashi: 6 1.0081
Item no. in Henshall: 30
SKIP code: 4-2-2
Four corner code: 4071.0
Korean reading: chil
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
seven
Unihan on: SHICHI SHITSU
Unihan kun: NANATSU NANATABI
Unihan pinyin: qī
Unihan kSemanticVariants: , [kLau,kMatthews,kMeyerWempe]
U+4E03
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