The Sanchon Hunjang
(usually clicking on the photos yields an enlarged version
Not just any old Joe
☞ It's probably be obvious enough by the fact that there is some real content, but this little piece wasn't drafted but merely interpreted (fast and loose, of course) by the Sanchon Hunjang from one of the wonderful teenagers enlightening each other with questionable facts over there at Naver 지식. The style is a bit weak (the translated version undoubtedly more so), and it is clearly three or more independant originals slapped together, but the content is interesting.The original can be found here.
- Ancestral Temple Names
The "ancestral temple names 묘호" are names that were given to rulers who had died, together with a posthumous name, to be used in the ceremonies performed on their behalf at the ancestral temple 종묘. Ancestral temple names were already being used in Korea from the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C. - 668 A.D.). Ancestral names were originally names that were given to Chinese emperors after their deaths with to note their accomplishments. "Joe 祖" and "jong 宗" were used as ancestral temple names. "Joe" was given to "Rulers who created and accomplished 創業之主," while "jong" was for "sovereigns who guarded and perfected 守成之君." However, generally, "joe" was used for kings who founded a dynasty or those who overcame crisis, while "jong" was for those who left behind cultural achievements or governed well. Thus King T'aejo (r. 1392 - 1408) was given this title because he founded a dynasty while King Sǒngjong (r. 1457 - 1494) was given this title because of the many cultural institutions that he instituted. King Sǒnjo of the mid-Chosǒn was first called "Sǒnjong," but later his ancestral temple name was changed to Sǒnjo on the basis of his achievement in surmounting the Japanese Invasion of 1592.
On the other hand, "goon 君" was an ancestral temple name that was given to kings who lacked kingly qualities. Kings Yǒnsan (r. 1494 - 1506) and Kwanghae (r. 1608 - 1623) are typical: King Yǒnsan is the Chosǒn period's most famous tyrant while King Kwanghae was judged by the neo-Confucian scholars of the time to have been morally depraved because he had Queen Dowager Inmok (1584 - 1632), widow of King Sǒnjo (r. 1567 - 1608), dethroned and he instigated the deaths of Prince Imhae (1574 - 1609) and Grand Prince Yǒngch'ang 1606 - 1614), both contenders for his throne.
"Joe" and "jong" could not be used in ancestral hall names at the end of the Koryǒ period (918 - 1392). Following the Mongol invasions at the end of the Koryǒ period, when the Mongol Yuan Dynasty was interfering in the Koryǒ court, they forbade the use of "joe" and "jong" in Koryǒ ancestral hall names. Since "joe" and "jong" were used by the emperors of the Yuan, Koryǒ would have to use titles more appropriate to their place as one of the "dukes" or "feudal princes" 諸侯. Therefore they used such ancestral hall names as King Ch'ungnyǒl (r. 1236 - 1308), King Ch'ungsǒn (r. 1298 and 1308 - 1313) and King Ch'ungsuk (r. 1313 - 1330). Generally, "ch'ung 忠 ["the Loyal"]" is not used for kings. Kings are the recipients of loyalty, not the ones who should be offering their loyalty. The word "ch'ung" is used for royal subjects such as Prince Ch'ungmu ["the Loyal and Martial," the posthumous name bestowed upon Admiral Yi Sun-sin in recognition of his accomplishments in driving the Japanese out of Korea during the 1592 invasions]. But the Yuan caused Koryǒ to use "ch'ung" because they wanted the Koryǒ court to remain loyal to the Yuan from generation to generation. Koryǒ kings such as King Kongmin (r. 1351 - 1374), King U (r. 1374 - 1388), King Ch'ang (r. 1388 - 1389) and King Kongyang (r. 1389 - 1392) did not use "ch'ung." These later kings did not continue to use "ch'ung" because, by that time, the power of the Yuan was waning and the Koryǒ kings had received acknowledgment of their dynasty from the Ming (1368 - 1644).
- How Shall We Distinguish Between the Names, Posthumous Names, Ancestral Hall Names and the Syllables Joe and Jong in the Names of the Kings of the Chosǒn
In the Chosǒn period (1392 - 1910), when a king passed away, his life was judged. The outcome is the posthumous name and the ancestral temple name. A posthumous name is a title that is applied to applaud the merits and virtues exhibited by the king when he was alive. An ancestral temple name is also a name that is by appraising of the king's life and is the name that is used inside of the ancestral temple. T'aejo, Chǒngjong, T'aejong, Sejong and similar titles are all ancestral temple names.
The syllable "joe" or "jong" is attached at the end of ancestral temple names; generally "joe" is used in the case of kings with outstanding merits, and on the other hand, "jong" is used for kings with surpassing virtue. Thus those rulers who oversee a recovery from decline are second to those who create great things, and get the appellation "jong." As a rule, it may be said that kings who have such great accomplishments as the founding of a dynasty, or rescuing the people from a rebellion, or those kings who have given rise to great strife become the joes. Examples begin with T'aejo Yi Sǒng-gye and include such other kings as Sejo, Sǒnjo, Injo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo. Those Kings who expand upon the achievements of the previous monarch, ruling the nation with virtue, and create flourishing cultures are mostly called "jong." It is easy to memorize this as, "Creation and accomplishment: joe; guarding and perfecting: jong." This could be said to follow The Book of Rites, where it says, "Those with merit are 'joe' and those with virtue are 'jong.'"
Of the 27 kings of the Chosǒn, only the seven kings T'aejo, Sejo, Sǒnjo, Injo, Yǒngjo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo use the character "joe." Excluding Kwanghae and Yǒnsan, who were kings in life but were not treated as kings after their deaths, the other kings all use the character "jong." King T'aejo was called "joe" because he founded the dynasty. The other "joe" kings either overcame great national crises (Sǒnjo, Injo), or ascended the throne by coup (Sejo). Yǒngjo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo were called "jong" immediately after their deaths, but later their titles were changed to "joe."
The later in the Chosǒn we get, the less transparent that the reasons for giving a king the title of "joe" or "jong" become. Originally there was no differentiation in status between "joe" and "jong." But it appears that these changes in title happened because "joe" came to be perceived as better than "jong."
According to the historian [, professor at Pukyong National University and prolific author of popular books on things Chosǒn] Shin Myǒng-ho, whether a king would receive the name of "joe" or "jong" depended upon the evaluation of later generations. In extreme cases, an ancestral hall name that had already been set could be changed. For example, in the case of King Sǒnjo, his original ancestral temple name is said to have been "Sǒnjong." His virtue was assessed as having been greater than his merits. Later, however, upon the contentions of Hǒ Kyun (1569 - 1618) and Yi I-ch'ǒm (1560 - 1623), this was changed to Sǒnjo. The basis for this change was he had great merit because he drove the "dwarf bandits" out during the Japanese invasions of 1592. Further, in the case of King Chungjong, the contention was raised before the court that he had great merit because he drove out the tyrant King Yǒnsan and thus his title should be changed to Chungjo. However the court officials objected and it was decided to leave his title as "jong."
De-throned kings had the syllable "goon" [prince] attached to their titles. It was used for those monarchs whose immoral actions as king greatly crossed the Confucian order of the Chosǒn Dynasty. These were Kings Yǒnsan and Kwanghae. These monarchs were stripped of their royal status and so they have no name or title in the ancestral temple.
These names were given to kings and queens after their deaths to be used in the royal ancestral temple shrine that looked after their spirit tablets. These names are called "ancestral temple names." The use of the syllables "joe" and "jong" to refer to dead kings was used with Silla King Muyǒl (r. 602 - 661), of the Three Kingdoms period and use continued from Wang Kǒn, Koryǒ King T'aejo ( r. 918 - 943), up until it was no longer allowed due to the intervention of the Yuan. It was only in the Chosǒn Dynasty that this naming method was used from the beginning to the end.
Our author(s) don't mention it, but these titles of kings that are in common knowledge are abbreviated versions. The actual posthumous names given to kings, especially those of the later Chosǒn when ultra-formality was in full swing, can be really long-assed beasts. For example, the name that was posthumously bestowed on even such a lowly king as King Kwanghae runs a 50 syllables.
It is 體天興運俊德弘功神聖英肅欽文仁武敍倫立紀明誠光烈隆奉顯保懋定重熙睿哲壯毅章憲順靖建義守正彰道崇業大王. Of the Chosǒn kings, the average tenure in office was 19 years. The longest stretch on the throne was King Yǒngjo, who sat there for an amazing 52 years. I'll bet it was difficult to summarize his contributions in a word or two. Thus he was given the 72-syllable mouthful
英祖莊順至行純德英謨毅烈章義洪倫光仁敦禧體天建極聖功神化大成廣運開泰基永堯明舜哲乾坤寧配命垂統景曆洪休中和隆道肅莊彰勳正文宣武熙敬顯孝大王 as a posthumous title.
No wonder those royal tombstones are so big!
King for a year?
In most places you had to do something special to become king. Or your father. Or his father. Because of all that divine right, link to heaven stuff and all, not just anyone could become king. Only one with heaven's blessing.
It wasn't so easy to become king. Especially given the decided dearth of kings who were abdicating (although some of these mythical beasts did exist, even ask the author(s)
of the Zhuangzi
). And a glut of people who wanted to sit on that hard throne seat with just one little 방석 to cushion the tushy
. So you had to wrest power from the guy in charge by...say...turning your army back at the Yalu River and taking over the capital
, or you could drive out the current boy king and then have him offed to silence all naysayers
. And there's always the option of locking the crown prince in a rice chest and leaving the whole package out in the heat to expire so he could be replaced by his son
Of course the fact that one is able to become king is then taken as proof ex post facto
that heaven smiled on you, which has got to help a bit. But then when natural disasters occur, it's all your fault for allowing your virtue to degrade to the point where the kingdom and the will of heaven to fall out of alignment
. Talk about your heavy responsibilities. Who'd want that job?
Whatever the cause, these days those poor royalty don't wield much real power. Heck, a king can't even refer to himself as "짐 (朕)
" anymore (but then neither does God (Guobiao Encoded)
, so maybe that's only fair).
And the process of becoming a king has been greatly simplified, too, over the years. This is especially true in the case of Paekche
. They just have a little pageant and the winner is selected to be king. Look at the line up of handsome candidates:
Strangely, the king of Paekche was selected in Incheon last year. But then again, who'd want to live in 공주/부여
There is the four-character saying 去頭截尾
(거두절미), “to get rid of the head and slice off the tail.” It's usually used to mean “cut the fluff and get down to the meat of the discussion.”
But interestingly enough, it's the description of the old Chinese fanqie method of glossing pronunciation
, only in reverse. The fanqie method has you slice off the tail (of the first character given) and then discard the head (of the second character), to give the pronunciation of the character in question. Of course you have to know how to pronounce the two characters glossed, but that and saying “A音B”, or “A is a homonym of B” is the best they came up with.
To see the whole thing in action, the mother of all 옥편, the Character Dictionary of the Kangxi Emperor
glosses the word “金” as being pronounced 金...居音切...居吟切...音今, or“居 + 音 [= 금], 居 + 吟 [= 금], sounds like '今 [금]'” Then it gives many many definitions and ends it's page-long exposition on the various meanings of this word over time by giving a second and final pronunciation of “居 + 良 [= 강], a homonym of '彊 [강]'.”
On a side note, the Korean names for their consonants were also laid out in a similar manner. There is no hint as to how the individual letters were pronounced in the original 한글 proclamation, but in 1527, the Collection of Characters for the Instruction of the Young 訓蒙字會
the individual letters are presented along with pronunciation. And the pronunciation is glossed with Chinese characters in a format similar to that of the time-honored fanqie method, except it's in reverse: ㄱ is “其役 (기역),” ㄴis “尼隱 (니은)” and so on. So ㄱ is pronounced like the lead-in to “기” when it's an initial and like the end of “역” when it's a final.
Back to 金.
This word, pronounced as "Kim" represents the largest surname group in Korea, at 22% of the population
, followed not particularly closely by Lee 李 (15%) and Park 朴 (8%). If you want to find the story of the founding of this sea of a clan called Kim, you've got to go all the way back to the Shilla days, as described in the Historical Records of the Three Kingdoms
The fourth king of Shilla was a nice fellow (the Sanchon Hunjang supposes ^^) named “탈해이사금 脫解尼師今” (they had funny names back then and “이사금” appears to be some sort of title that was so popular that it ends the names of kings #3 through #18, when it is replaced by 마립간 麻立干). At any rate, according to Book 1 of the Fundamental Records of the Shilla, in the ninth year of T'alhaeisagum's reign:
春三月 王夜聞 金城西始林樹間 有鷄鳴聲 遲明遣瓠公視之 有金色小櫃掛樹枝 白鷄鳴於其下 瓠公還告 王使人取櫃開之 有小男兒在其中 姿容奇偉 上喜謂左右曰 "此豈非天遺我以令胤乎" 乃收養之 及長聰明多智略 乃名閼智 以其出於金櫃姓金氏
So, um...春三月 In the spring of the third month, 王 the king 夜 at night 聞 heard 金城西 to the west of Gold Fortress, 始林樹間 among the trees of the First Grove, 有 there was 鷄鳴聲 the sound of a cock crying. 遲明At next light, [he] 遣 dispatched 瓠公 Prince Ho to [go] 視之see it. 有 There was a 金色gold colored 小 small 櫃 box 掛hanging in the 樹 tree 枝 branches and a 白 white 鷄 cock 鳴 crowing 於其下 underneath it. 瓠公 Prince Ho 還 returned and 告reported. 王 The king 使 sent 人 someone 取 to take 櫃 the box and 開 open 之 it. 有 There was a 小 small 男man-兒child 在其中 inside of it. 姿容 [His] appearance was 奇 wonderful and 偉 great. 上 The king, 喜 delighted, 謂 addressed [the court officials] 左右 to the left and right, saying 曰: “此 This 豈非天遺 was surely left by the heavens 我 for me 以 as an 令 appointed 胤 heir.” 乃 Whereupon [the king] 收 took in and 養 raised 之 him. 及 And [he was] 長 strong in 聰明 brilliance and [had] 多 much 智略 wisdom and was 乃 thus 名 named 閼智
Alchi and, 以 because of 其 his 出 coming out 於 from a 金 golden 櫃 box, [he] was 姓 surnamed the 金 Gold 氏 clan.
Lessee here...so the first of the 金 clan was named because he was found in a gold
box, from which his surname was taken
. And “gold” is “금.” To make things even stranger, the Kangxi Dictionary
, above, says that 金 is only “금” or rarely“강” but gives no mention of 김.
So whence the surname pronunciation “김?”
According to some sources
, including the admittedly populist 엽기조선왕조실록
, 金 was always pronounced “금,” whether as “gold” or as a surname down until the beginning of the Chosun Dynasty. When 이성계 founded the new dynasty, with the royal surname Yi (李), some geomantically inclined scholars at court are said to have pointed out that the major element in 李 is wood (木), which would be the one of the five elements
to power the dynasty. But there is a chain by which the five elements overcome one another in the cycle of creation and destruction that is life
. And the element which overcomes wood is gold/metal 金.
With this clear prophecy hanging out there for all to see, it certainly could not be safe to have a nation swarming with people surnamed “금,” any one of whom might sweep in to remove the new dynasty at the drop of at hat. And, with so many 금s out there, killing them all off to secure the dynasty's longevity was not a realistic approach. So it was proposed that a next-best solution would be to change the pronunciation of 金, when used as a surname, to “김.” This would eliminate all danger of metallic 금 overthrowing the Dynasty of Wood.
When we consider that the Choson Dynasty continued for some 520 years, this verbal slight of hand that feels so contrived seems to have worked like a charm!
The three levels of exceptions
Someone was asking about which Chinese characters have more than one pronunciation the other day. The sad fact is that many, if not most, have multiple pronunciations. The happy side of the same coin is that most of the multiple pronunciations are rare dictionary or textual finds that your average 조조
doesn't have to worry about.
There are basically three classifications of multiple sound infused Chinese graphs, the Good (Enough), the Bad and the Sure They're Ugly But Who Cares:
- The Good (Enough)
The situation with these words is not ideal, but there aren't that many of the common ones that one is likely to encounter, so you can just memorize the exceptions, just like students do with "i before e except after c and except when said 'ay' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh.'"
For instance, there is the graph 말씀 설 說 "to explain." It has a secondary and much less common pronunciation 세. But in your standard Korean dictionary, it's only pronounced 세 in the following words: 강유호세, 세객, 세복, 유세 (1), 유세 (2), 치세, 유세객, 유세대, 유세문, and 유세장, more than half of which are variations on the theme of 유세, going around convincing people (i.e. electoral stumping).
There's also the graph 北, pronounced "북" when it means "north," and "배" in the more uncommon instances where it means "defeat." Memorize the word 패배 and you're pretty well covered.
To kill 죽일 살 殺 is also pronounced "쇄" when it is used to mean "decrease," "greatly" or "quickly," as in the words 쇄도, 상쇄, 살점제. 省 is "성" when it's a province in China, but it's "생" when it means to reduce or omit. 率 is usually seen as "rate, ratio" and is read "률," but it's also pronounced "솔" in words like 솔래,솔거 (1), 설거(2), 솔무, 식솔, 가솔, and a host of others.
So one memorizes a handful of words in each case and that's the end of the story. You couldn't ask for something more upfront.
- The Bad
나무 목 木 is one of the first characters anybody learns, and one of those that is always trotted out to show how pictographic Chinese writing is. 'Cause it looks just like a tree! Plus, you put two of them together and suddenly you have a grove. Three makes a real forest! And, heck, the pronunciation of this graph is so simple that Naver's 옥편, or any other you'd care to use up to and including the monstrous 漢語大字典, only gives one pronunciation: "목." Ya got yer 목요일, yer 목성 and yer 목재. All pronounced "목." As Naver kindly indicates, we should never ever, even in the ugliest cases outlined below, expect anything but "목." So now the humble Sanchon Hunjang asks you, dear reader, how would you pronounce the name of this fruit: 木瓜?
"목과"? *Zonk* Thank you for playing, you will receive one of those neither-붓-nor-pen 붓펜 as your consolation prize.
Or let's assume you're reading a newspaper from the '70's, when they still used 한자 in the news text, how would you go about reading the following:
智異山을 오르려면 六月은 너무 이르고 十月은 너무 늦다. 七·八月이 適合하다.
You could search your character dictionary of choice all day and you might find 다를 이 異 is read as "리" in the specific case of 지리산, but you won't find 여섯 륙 六 is read as "유" in front of "월" nor that 열 십 十 is read "십," except when it's read "시" in 十月, 十方淨土(시방정토) or 十王(시왕). And now that it's clear that 6월 is not 육월 but 유월, how ya gonna proceed with reading this common saying:
女子가 恨을 품으면 五·六月에도 서리가 내린다
So, lessee, now we've got 륙 => 육 by the standard sound change rules governing those snakey ㄹs and sometimes it sounds like 뉵 by the same standard rules (eg. 十六, which is no different than 합리 => /함니/) but when it means June, suddenly it's 유. Except when preceeded by "오" in the meaning of May. Then it suddenly becomes "뉴." ㅡ.ㅡ;;;;;;;;
Sneaky, sneaky... Some other tricky beasts that you weren't warned about include 困難(곤란) ☞ 論難(논란), 討論(토론) ☞ 議論(의논), 八日(팔일) ☞ 初八日(초파일), ...
- The Sure They're Ugly, But Who Cares
"Who Cares" because these critters don't matter to the learner as long as we posit a learner of 한자 who is focused on modern Korean. The Who Cares includes two subclasses: (i) I don't care because it only applies to the Chinese language, and (ii) I don't care because it only applies to people digging through musty old tomes.
- Only applies to Chinese Chinese
Languages evolve. They grow, transform and transmogrify. It's a fact of human life. So it's not too surprising that the word "record" could come to have a noun meaning and a verb meaning. And those two are pronounced differently for distinction. But the simple fact is that Korean learners are spared a lot of this soundchangeality because Korean borrowed the sounds of Tang Chinese without the tones (with the exception of the "entering tone" which is differentiated by consonants anyway). 'Cause those old Koreans didn't get the tone thing any more than your average Westerner does. It's just fun to say "Mandarin has 4 or 5 tones and Cantonese has 6 or 7, so Mandarin is just perversely difficult while Cantonese is an abomination to acquire second-language credits in. Best stick with ASL." So you got this word meaning "good" that looks like 好. It's pronounced 호 or [we'll just go modern Mandarin here] hǎo (3rd tone). Well that's pretty 好, no? People start using it and before you know it, someone's felt a need for a word that means "to regard as good," which is to say "like." Kinda like the 예뻐해주다 effect. Or 좋다 vs. 좋아하다. 그래 好야, 이뻐해줄께. And to tell these apart, the latter one gets pronounced hào (4th tone). The thing is, in Korean, they're both 호. Same goes for 中, 上 and oodles of others that have Chinese pronunciation differentiated in tone alone and thus not reflected in Korean. Are they different? Sure. But it doesn't matter to the hypothetical "me" that we have defined as our reference human.
- Only applies to moldy thousand year old texts
The opening line of Confucius' Analects reads:
"子 The Master 曰 said: '學 to study 而 and 時 from time to time 習 put into practice 之 it [i.e. the thing studied], 不 is [this] not 亦 also 說 [?????] 乎 hmm?'"
As for the italicized 說, in modern texts would be "to explain 설 shuō." But the fact is that characters were written long before significs were added, and the 兌 was there first. Then people started adding significs to differentiate which of the possible reading were meant. So we get 說, 悅, 脫, 挩, etc. In this case, the actual word one of his disciples is quoting Confucius as having said is now written 悅, but somebody somewhere started writing 說 to mean 兌(悅) and nobody corrected it out of reverence for the text. It's really not so different from the wild spellings that makes Chaucer so much fun to read. But, even though in this case the word is written 說, you'd be corrected pretty quickly if you tried to show off your 한자 knowledge and made the mistake of pronouncing it as "설." Because here it's pronounced 열 (as in 悅) and you'd suddenly have revealed you didn't know as much as you were pretending to. So we now have a new 옥편 pronunciation for 說: "열." But if you're not studying the Analects, it makes no difference to you because usage has been standardized in modern times, just like spelling, so now if you want "explanation" you write 說 and if you want "joy" you write 悅. And what could be more 悅 than a systematic approach to the use of Chinese graphs?
Here's a bit of trivia for you: "When is our aquatic friend the 용 龍 not a 龍?" Answer: when it's used with the pronunciation "방 (尨)" to mean "vari-colored."
Hey, look, there's one of those 방룡 now~ ^^
There are grundles of other similar substitutions to be found in the oceans of text written in Classical Chinese that have resulted in numerous alternative pronunciations captured in 옥편. In addition to the graphs actually used in extant texts, there's also a long list of characters that are glossed as having an obscure pronunciation in dictionaries, but not actually used as far as anyone today can tell.
Like that famous character-with-the-most-strokes-in-the-15-volume-Morohashi-옥편 graph that, ironically enough, means "wordy," 말많을 절:
The Sanchon Hunjang says it's all so much worthless esoterica...as long as you're not doing Mandarin or pursuing Ph.D. studies in Classical Chinese lit. So while this last category could get really ugly, our assumed learner can just shrug them off with a light "who cares?"
When 안 중근
wrote his famous, "If in a day one does not read a book, thorns and briars appear in the mouth," he conveniently forgot to mention what a thorny brier patch it is in there as well
if the book you're reading happens to be of Chinese graphs like his phrase is.
Looking up Chinese characters is a real drudgery. The major reason is that there is no good Chinese dictionary--i.e. one where there is one and only one allowable position for each graph in the dictionary, thus facilitating easy lookup--in widespread use. Fortunately Chinese is not as ideographic as some would have the innocent believe
, so most characters have a pretty good hint at its pronunciation. But when you run up against one that doesn't, or one that you can't recall, you're back to counting strokes or guessing at significs and counting strokes. And that can be tricky. Take a look at this example:亞
It's not a particularly obscure character, used mostly now for "Asia." Where are you going to begin looking for a radical? (정답: 二) And how are you going to count those strokes? (정답: 8획) Those "staircase patterns" can be either 1 or 3 strokes, depending on direction! Few people can even write 亞 correctly and most just go for the variant 亜. This second option is far easier to write and identify (and thus count) individual strokes.
On the subject of 亞, before it was borrowed because of its sound "아" to mean Asia, it was used to mean "second." We can see this in the posthumous name given to the most revered of Confucius' disciples, 孟軻
, who is referred to as "the second sage 亞聖" in Confucian shrines. When transcribing foreign place names into Chinese, the temptation to use characters used to write derogatory terms was generally avoided. Curious how Asia got stuck in "second" place.
In the same class of know-em-or-you-don't characters without any built-in pronunciation hints, there is the curious pair 凹
요 and 凸
철. The same staircase element that makes 亞 difficult in spades comes into play in these two words to a lesser degree. The meaning of these guys is pretty easy to remember, though. And, by happenstance, the shape of 凹 even holds a bit of a hint of the Korean vowel that is it's pronunciation. The first means "innie," and as you might guess, the second means "outie." Must have been used originally to describe belly-buttons. ^^
Unlike many, these two words are not your from-the-dawn-of-time type characters. They are not found in the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) Shuowenjiezi
, China's first dictionary, and are not found until the Yupian
(abt. 543), from which Korean 한자 dictionaries take their name, and the Guangyun
(abt. 1007). This means they are not found in the true Chinese of the classical age. But these guys are still used today. And they still mean concave/convex, or "concave and convex" = "bumpy," when they are together.
Due to its resemblance in shape to a certain vulgar gesture, 철 can be seen on several web pages in a newly coined meaning that hasn't found its way into the 옥편 yet
. Which brings us to what is perhaps the most famous calligraphic rendition
of this character (that doesn't quite happen to have been done by an assassin/national hero
Bumpy, indeed. ^^
알림: 필연의 기절
Last night at the gas station, as the Sanchon Hunjang waited for the attendants to fill up the large tank, he glanced into the office to discover a remarkable machine. Well, at least it claims to produce something remarkable:
"기절 안 하면 기절시켜드립니다. " ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
And it ends in the same funny way as all those announcements/assorted warnings/pleas to not dump your trash/etc. signs out there.
These titled-people are all about telling everyone to do something, so they have to rely on all the authority they can muster. This means they hafta include a title at the end as a symbol of their authority to make the declaration. If no other title is available, then "owner 주인" does just fine. Or better yet, "Head Owner 주인장
백." Sometimes they even write it in Chinese to look even more superior to us masses: "주인 白," or "主人 白." Surely everyone gets the unmistakable I'm-in-authority-here-and-I'm-only-doing-this-in-your-best-interest vibe here.
But as to that 백 tacked on the end...white...? Is that the authority's surname? If so, then there sure are a whole lot of Messrs White leaving signs around, at least compared to the percentage of the population that they occupy. Not to mention how difficult it is to find the expected signs that close with "주인 김," and "주인 최."
Well, like the Sanchon Hunjang always says, when in doubt, recheck the dictionary. Could it be that our humble friend 白 is hiding something? According to the Naver 옥편 page
:(copied here because the web is an ever-changing landscape and a poor Sanchon Hunjang can't trust it)
|중학용 한자, 한자능력검정 8급 (쓰기 : 준6급)
㉦비다, (가진 것이)없다
㉭거저, 대가 없이
㉭소대(小隊: 군대 편성 단위의 하나)
Well...lessee here...white...clean...clear...bright...nothing too unexpected there. Oh, wait a minute...there it is, number 이응. 白 = 아뢰다
. 아룀. I've seen that word, and her more modernized (which means "less honorific") cousin 알림
around. Even in signs of a similar tone.
So, putting "title + 백" at the bottom of a sign telling people what to do or what to abstain from doing is equivalent to putting "알림" at the top and the position by which your authority is stated at the bottom of the sign.
So let it be written, let it be done!
-- 산촌훈장 망상 일지 주인 백 ^^
As a verb!
The Sanchon Hunjang is usually a bit late on catching the latest trends, but not too long ago funnyman 이경규 apparently opened a new chain of restaurants and one is in the neighborhood.
The name is a very interesting "食 eating [and] 酒 drinking (alcohol) 所 place," which is great because you don't often see 酒 used as a verb. This is not to be confused with "所食酒者 the consumed and quaffed (alcohol)" that one may experience inside the restaurant. ^^