zǐ child; sage; seed


Picture of a baby in swaddling clothes
Number of strokes: 3


Index 39 used in: used in: biān (to exist) ; hái (child) ; hǎo (good) ; hēng (prosperous) ; jì (season) ; kǒng (great) ; lǐ (plum) ; sūn (grandson) ; xiào (filial piety or obedience) ; xué (study) ; zì (letter)

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Different tone

zì (from) zì (letter)

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stroke order for 子
Stroke order for character 子, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license


孔子 Confucius
孟子 Mencius
老子 Lao Zi
庄子 Zhuangzi
墨子 Mozi


不入虎穴焉得虎子 bù rù hǔ xué yān dé hǔ zǐ Great rewards require a great risk
赐子千金不如教子一艺 cì zǐ qiān jīn bù rú jiào zǐ yī yì Learning a new skill will pay dividends in the future
虎父无犬子 hǔ fù wú quǎn zǐ A son is similar to his father
妻离子散 qī lí zǐ sàn A broken family
肉包子打狗 ròu bāo zǐ dǎ gǒu To use a self defeating method to solve a problem
兔子不吃窝边草 tù zi bù chī wō biān cǎo Thieves do not steal from neighbors


jiǎo zǐ Dumplings
kuài zǐ Chopsticks


茄子 qié zi aubergine
篮子 lán zi basket
胡子 hú zi beard
孩子 hái zi children
扇子 shàn zi fan
兔子 tù zi hare
老子 lǎo zǐ Laozi
燕子 yàn zi swallow
China's Ancient Script

China's Ancient Script


The discovery of a huge number of 'oracle bones' has added greatly to the knowledge of the origins of China's written script. It pushes back the written language to at least 3,500 years ago. Careful study of the inscriptions is still revealing information about life in Shang dynasty times.

chū at first; first

Made up of [ yī clothes radical 145, dāo knife]


Consists of knife and cloth, and as this the first stage of making clothes it evokes 'first steps'
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