Japanese
Chinese
Graphical etymology
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Details
person
on: JIN NIN
kun: hito -ri -to
names: ji to ne hiko fumi
strokes: 2
radical: 人, 亻,𠆢 (no. 9)
man; person; people; CL: 個|个 ,位 wèi;
pinyin: rén
strokes: 2
radical: 人, 亻,𠆢 (no. 9)

Graphical etymology

人 looks in oracle bone inscriptions like and shows the side view of a standing person. In modern script the full version of the graph person has lost an arm, but gained a leg (the head is still left to the imagination).¹ However, the abbreviated form 亻 that is often used as signific retains a bit more of the original. In modern script 人, when used in compound graphs, may also look like 𠆢 (on top) or 儿 (on the bottom) or even more abstract and abbreviated.²

Notes

  1. Compared to hieroglyphs, oracle bone inscriptions seem to lack details. However, for most of the time the ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphs solely as a ceremonial script. Its scribes used hieratic script (a kind of longhand variant of hieroglyphs) for daily use. Hieratic is even more abstract than OBI (Powell, 2012, pp. 105-106). In China, some formal bronze inscriptions from about the same time as OBI also have more details and elaborations.
  2. See the resources below for a developmental overview of 人 from OBI to current.
2019-06-04

Resources

[source]

Additional details for 人

Morohashi: 344 1.0556
Item no. in Henshall: 39
SKIP code: 4-2-4
Four corner code: 8000.0
Korean reading: in
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
man; people; mankind; someone else
Unihan on: JIN NIN
Unihan kun: HITO
Unihan pinyin: rén
Unihan kSemanticVariants: , [kMatthews]
U+4EBA
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