Lesson 2 – Toilets, Man and Woman
The Chinese character for ‘toilet’ is rather complicated. It comprises of 贝 (money) and 刀 (knife) for phonetic reasons, both under the component厂 which means factory (you must admit that some kind of production process takes place in the toilet). But if you knew how to deconstruct a Chinese character to its basic component you probably wouldn’t be here. So instead we will use our imagination and picture a guy in a public restroom standing in front of a urinal.
The Chinese character for ‘woman’ is pretty straight forward. It’s a pictograph of a woman and if you use just a little bit of imagination you can see a very resolved young woman swinging her arms from side to side as she proudly walks to wherever it is she wants to go.
The Chinese character for ‘man’ consists of two parts. The top part is a field (divided to four) and the bottom part means power or strength. Who is strong enough to work in the fields? The answer is men. If you don’t know Chinese, the simple way to remember this character is to see it as a guy holding his fists up as if he was about to fight somebody. Plus, he has clearly been punched in the face once or twice already. That’s why he has a + sign in the middle of it.