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b003-1

 

This character is a pictography of the precious cowrie shell. Used in early feudal times as money, it came to mean also "valuables". The regular form b003-2 shows a live shell with feelers; but today, like the money it once represented, the shell reveals its hollowness in the simplified formb003-3.

be4i

   
b003-4  

shells;

valuables

     
  贝雕   be4i   dia1o   shell carving  
  贝壳   be4i   ke2   shell  
  贝类   be4i   le4i   shellfish  
  贝玉   be4i   yu4   valuables; gems  
  贝子   be4i   zi3   cowries - used as currency in ancient times  
             
  b003-5

Eight

Clear, white, plain

Shell, valuables

Pen, pencil

Half

Companion, associate, mate

Soldier, army

Precious

 

 

     

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