Japanese
Chinese
Graphical etymology
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eight; eight radical (no. 12)
on: HACHI
kun: ya ya-tsu ya-tsu you
names: na ha ha hatsu yachi yatsu hachigashira
strokes: 2
radical: 八, (no. 12)
eight; 8;
pinyin:
strokes: 2
radical: 八, (no. 12)

Graphical etymology

Qiú seems to think that 八 is a very old arbitrary sign.¹ However, most other scholars connect 八 with a meaning “to divide,” discernible in compound characters as well.² That would make it more likely that 八 is a loangraph.

Notes

  1. Qiú, 2000, p 32; p. 168.
  2. Seeley et al. p. 63. An example of a compound graph may be “divide” 分 (ibid., p. 99).

Comments

In legal documents 捌 may be used instead of 八. See also the Suzhou numerals for other ways to write the numerals.

2019-06-18

Additional details for 八

Morohashi: 1450 2.0001
Item no. in Henshall: 66
SKIP code: 1-1-1
Four corner code: 8000.0
Korean reading: pal
Unihan English meanings (for Chinese):
eight; all around, all sides
Unihan on: HACHI HATSU
Unihan kun: YATSU YATABI
Unihan pinyin: bā
Unihan kSemanticVariants: , [kLau,kMeyerWempe]
U+516B
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