Chinese Character Etymology

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/bangu/chinese_char_etymology.html

Basics of Chinese Character Etymology and Script Styles

Xah Lee, 2011-01-12, 2011-10-05

Here's the basic history of character forms.

YearNameEnglish NameSample
~1300 BCE甲骨文Oracle bone scriptchinese oracle bone Zhou inscription
~1000 BCE金文Chinese bronze inscriptionschinese bronze inscription-song4 ding3
400 BCE篆(zhuàn)書Seal scriptchinese seal script
200 BCE隸(lì)書Clerical scriptchinese clerical script
行書Semi-cursive scriptchinese semi-cursive script
200 BCE草書Cursive scriptchinese cursive script
200 CE楷(kǎi)書Regular scriptchinese regular script
200 CE to today繁軆字Traditional Chinese characters
1956 CE to today簡軆字Simplified Chinese characters

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