Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yan - Lamb-a Lamb-a Ding Dong

Lamb tends to be a Muslim Chinese dish. The character usually accompanies the meat symbol, rou, 羊肉.

How to remember it: At least this one has horns or ears at the top to help remember. And the extra line across makes it look like fluffy version of the cow character.

It's a "radical" - or founding character - for a lot of words that have nothing to do with sheep. (More about radicals later.) For instance the word Mei 美, which means "beautiful", is founded on it, and is also the word the Chinese use for "America." (The word "America" sounds kind of like mei guo 美國 to the Chinese, which means "beautiful country -- how's that for pumping the American ego?)

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