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How do Chinese express the concept of hotness?

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SEARU

Jun 15, 2021, 21:30

热(re, the forth tone) means ‘hot’ in our native language. Why?The first part of 执 is a simple form of 手(shou, the third tone)which represents ‘hand’. The last component of 执 is 丸(wan, the second tone) that refers to ‘apill’ or “‘a-ball-like-thing’. Then you may ask me: Does 执 show ‘’a pill in the hand?” Yes, 执(zhi, the fourth tone)means ‘hold’.  The bottom of 热 is called ‘the four-dot-water’ that looks like the steam rising from the boiling pot.  So the whole picture of 热 shows that Tom is picking up a pill of food from the hot water. Certainly you can imagine how hot he feels at the time! 

(To be continued) 

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SEARU

The above is one of the art versions of 火 from the Internet.  You may think it as a special candle with three flames! 

SEARU

The following character on hotness is also related with fire(火)that is 炽(chi,the fourth tone). The 口(kou)  within 炽 means ‘mouth’ while the ‘八’ at bottom represents the legs. So you may take 只 as an animal. To kill a chicken or goat and cook the body as a whole with fire!  According to some historical record, fire was used to punish those criminals in ancient times! I think nobody could bear the high temperature!  The phrase 炽热 means ‘every hot' that condition is seriously beyond the normal level.

SEARU

To dear editors: 

The forum web-page had been out reach for a few hours today. I felt a bit nervous in afraid of losing my writings in the past seven years! Attacked by hackers again?  I do wish the CD authorities take firm measures to make sure all of our works are in safe place and keep them forever!  

                                                                                                         Best regards!

SEARU

Another funny character on hotness is 炙(zhi, the forth tone),which top component is a special form of 月(yue,the Moon). In Chinese 月 always appears in the body-related words, such as 胳膊(ge-bo,arms),腿(tui,leg), 肩膀(jian-bang, shoulder),and so on. The ancient Chinese people believed that human body contained lunar and solar elements.That was the reason why 月(the Moon) was used as one of the necessary components when our ancestors invented the written words. Now,SEARU thinks the top of 炙 should refer to the meat from some animal body that you cook on fire for food. Of course the scene of the cooking always reminds you the high temperature. In summer it is so hot that I feel as if I were an ant in the heating pot! It is just the meaning of the body-language of 炙!

SEARU

The third hot-word is 炎(yan,tone second). It contains two fires. In fact,we should think about it in this way:木(mu, tone forth)means ‘wood' or 'tree' which structure emphasizes the powerful underground roots of the plant.  If you put two 木 together,you will see a forest 林 (lin, the second tone) where there are countless trees! So the two-fire 炎 should represent it is so hot that everywhere seems fire burning!

SEARU

Another example for the hot-concept is 烫(tang , the forth tone).  Its top part is 汤(tang, the first tone) that means “hot water or soup’. The lower part of 烫 is 火 (huo, the third tone)that represents ‘fire’.  You may take the top of 火 as ‘the flame’ while the bottom of 火 seems like the firewood.  It is general knowledge that either ‘boiling water’or ‘fire’ is the hottest thing in daily life which might hurt you without mercy at any time!Furthermore the scene of 烫 looks like ‘a stove is cooking(heating)boiling soup’. It is dangerous for little Tom to approach the equipment due to the high temperature!