Write “蝉”(cicada) in Chinese character


One character a day, easy to master Chinese characters. Let’s take a look at the basic knowledge of “蝉”.

蝉 chán  
Explnantion: cicada
Phrases: 貂蝉diāo chán:Diao Chan, an ancient Chinese beauty;金蝉脱壳jīn chán tuō qiào:false scent;

In the oracle bone inscriptions, “chan” (“蝉”) is a pictographic character, with a cicada’s head on top, its abdomen at the bottom, and wings on both sides, displaying a vivid picture of a cicada on a tree in summer. In the small seal script, the shape is simplified, with a “dan” (“单”) radical added to the right, indicating its pronunciation. The character thus becomes a pictophonetic character and basically remains in the shape till now.

In China, the cicada is also known as “zhiliao” (literally “know, understand”), because the songs of the insect sound like the phrase “zhiliao” in Chinese. In ancient China, there was a fabric named “cicada wing silk”, because it was as thin as cicada wings. And fans made of this fabric were called “cicada wing fans”. Ancient Chinese people regarded the cicada as a symbol for noble and unsullied qualities due to its exposure to the nature world. That’s why an ancient scholar would express his noblility by comparing himself to a cicada.


Méi xiǎngdào zài guānjiàn shíkè tā lái le gè jīnchán tuōqiào.
Unexpectedly, he escaped through a crafty scheme at the essential moment.
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