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About 厕 cè

厕 = 厂 (chǎng "factory, building / roof") + 则 (zé "rule")

Would you please tell me why "toilet" is the combination of "building" (or "roof", or "place" as you want) and "rule"?

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Culture



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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    there are several rules about where the chinese letters come from. One of them is the joining of meaning and sound.

    - sound similarity, like 可(ke),河(he),柯 (ke) three of them has differences like the root sound or the tone but finally they are similar.

    - Meaning relationship: finally 廁 refer to the room, so it needs a roof...

    actually, originally the traditional writing of factory is this one 廠 so taking it in mind for the construction of the letter, the concept of "factory" doesn't contribute at all.

    because toilet isn't just "厕", it's "厕所"
    if you say "请问, 厕 在 哪儿?" the sentence will be incorrect
    will make you exclaim "oh, Chinese language is so-o-o-o-o hard !!!
    even if i know the word toilet -- i still cannot find it !!!"


    If you want, you can remember it like this. "廁" is the initial form of "厕". In Ancient China, there are a few rooms in the yard, just similar to the Beijing 四合院. "广" means the most important room in this yard. "侧" means sideward, "亻" means a person. Similarly, "廁" means something beside the most important room in this yard. And the toilet is alway in the corner of the yard. So we could say it is beside the most important room.
    Anyway, please do not learn Chinese in this way if you wanna learn it fast and only for communication. However, if you want to study Chinese, this is absolutely the right way.

    Not every simplified Chinese character can be understand directly from the appearance. Because they were simplified after the foundation of People's Republic of China for convenience. If you wanna study Chinese in this way, you have to find out the initial form of the Character and be familiar with ancient Chinese.
    This website could be useful for you to know more about the origin of the Chinese characters. I guess it would be too difficult for a beginner. Have fun :)

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