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Write “肉”(meat) in Chinese character

One character a day, easy to master Chinese characters. Let’s take a look at the basic knowledge of “肉”.

肉 ròu  
Explnantion:  meat
Phrases: 猪肉(zhū ròu)pork ;肉麻(ròu má)disgusting; nauseating; sickening

“肉” (rou, meat) is a pictographic character in Chinese. It is shaped like a slice of meat in oracle bone inscriptions. Slight changes were observed in the case of small seal script : the two lines inside the character looks like the bones in the meat. Thus “肉” originally referred to animal muscle. Noticeably, “肉” in small seal script  looks rather similar to another character “月”. In order to distinguish the two characters, it evolved into the present shape “肉” in regular script. In Chinese, “月” also served as a radical. Most of the characters involving “月” are associated with “肉” (muscle or meat) and human body. For example, “肝” (gan) equals to liver, “胃” (wei) stomach and “脏” (zang) viscera.


With the semantic development of the characters, the meaning of “肉” extended from animal muscle to skin, muscle and fat of the human body, animal meat used as food, as well as the eatable part of vegetables and fruits excluding the skin and the core. In ancient Chinese, high-ranking government officials ate meat more frequently than the ordinary, therefore “肉食者” (rou shi zhe), literally predators or meat-eating beings, is often referred to the officials with a high position and a fabulous salary. Besides, the uncomfortable feelings aroused by frivolous and hypocritical words and behaviors are called “肉麻” (rou ma) in Chinese, which literally means “the meat is tingling”.



1.Huíhuí bùchī zhūròu, zhè shì tāmen de xísú.
The Hui people’s religious conventions prevent them from eating pork.


2.Búyào shuō nàme ròumá de huà.
Don’t say such sickening things.
未经允许不得转载:STUDY IN CHINA GLOBAL (SCG) » Write “肉”(meat) in Chinese character
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