8/6/10

The Original Meaning of My Chinese Name

Wow - I just got the most amazing e-mail from my friend in Beijing Xu Qing ("Unclouded") and she's a Chinese Linguistics major. She sent me scanned images of my Chinese name's original meaning.

Here's her email to me:

"...I refer to the book 说文解字, which was written in Han Dynasty and considered the oldest dictionary of China and explains the original meaning of many Chinese characters.
As you can see, 彭(彭)means the beat of drum;艺(藝)meas sowing(now it means "art";丽(麗)[means traveling] or experiencing(now means "beautiful". As you can see, both the appearance and the meaning have changed a lot. Is it interesting? :)"

I sure as hell think it is!! This whole time, my name Chinese name Peng Yili (彭艺丽) simply meant "Beautiful Art/Skill" to me - which is beautiful yes, but now there is such a richer and deeper meaning in it - and I can see how yi - sowing has come to mean skill/art and how li - traveling, experiencing has come to mean beautiful - Chinese is a wonderful language.



彭 - Peng - The beat of a drum

艺(藝)- Yi - Sowing

丽(麗)- Li - Traveling and Experiencing

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