04 May, 2015

Radical 饣 ("Eat", "Food")

饣 is used as a left Chinese radical. Its meaning is “food” or ”eat”. The productive phonetic is shí (shi2).

饣 is simplified from 食. The pictogram of the traditional form looks like an inverted mouth over a bowl of food (probably rice) on a stand. The current form is 人 + 良 but the lower part is more likely to be related to 皀 rather than to 艮. 

食 etymology

Here are the most commonly used characters containing 饣: 

Chinese characters containing 饣

In the standard Chinese Kangxi Dictionary, more than 400 characters are found under this radical. In combination with other characters, they produce lots of food-related words.
早饭 – zǎo fàn – breakfast 
吃晚饭 – chī wǎn fàn – to have dinner 
饭馆 – fàn guǎn – restaurant 
旅馆 – lǚ guǎn – hotel 
我太饿了!– wǒ tài è le – I am so hungry! 
他很馋。– tā hěn chán – He is gluttonous. 
月饼 – yuè bǐng – moon cake
肉馅儿 – ròu xiànr – meat filling 

By the way, the most popular Chinese traditional dish is called 饺子 – jiǎozi – dumplings.

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