Chinese Quadruple Radicals Provide New Insight Into the Meaning of Singular Words

By Jennifer Ball and Maggie Li (李琪)

Quadruple radicals are not common, but they do give a sense of what one character means if increased four times. Consequently, if X = n, then 4X = 4n. Therefore, we have a better sense about what a character means when its effect is replicated four times. (For Triple Radicals, go here: Triple Radicals.) For example, four mouths mean “noise” or “public opinion,” but if three of those mouths are contained as a unit, it means “vomit, annoy, enrage.”

Sources: (translated via Google webpage translation)

McNaughton, William and Li Ying. Reading and writing Chinese: a guide to the Chinese writing system, the student’s 1,020 list, the official 2,000 list. Ruttland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1999.