Kangxi Radical 30: 口 kǒu Mouth

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Kangxi Radical No.30 (Three Strokes)

口 / kǒu / “mouth” radical (30)
aka: Kangxi Radical Mouth
口 / kǒu / mouth

口 [開] / kāikǒu / open one’s mouth
口 / rénkǒu / population (as in: “mouths to feed”)
洞口 / dòngkǒu / cave mouth
口 [] / ménkǒu / doorway

The mnenomic function of this picture is a bit perfunctory, I’ll admit. The radical is pretty easy to remember anyway, so I took it more as a random prompt for drawing something.

It is an important one to know though, and there are a number of characters falling under it that make good examples for how characters are constructed. If you are unfamiliar with that, you can probably take a look at the following and reverse-engineer some basic principles on your own (or check out the links further below for more technical details).

👄= characters containing the “mouth” radical

乞 / qǐ / to beg
/ chī / to eat  👄
[] / mǎ / horse
吗 [嗎] / ma / question particle for yes\no questions 👄
/ xià / down
[嚇] / xià / to frighten 👄
犬(犭) / quǎn / dog
/ fèi / to bark 👄
苗 / miáo / sprout
/ zhì / fierce animal
[貓] / māo / cat
/ miāo / ‘meow’ 👄
鸟 [鳥] / niǎo / bird
鸣 [鳴] / míng / birdcry 👄
/ hǔ / tiger
唬 / hǔ / a tiger’s roar 👄

⇒ Radical (Chinese characters) – Wikipedia
Chinese character classification – Wikipedia
Yellowbridge Etymology Explorer (猫)
Zhongwen.com, Chinese Characters: A Genealogy and Dictionary
Zhongwen.com (吠)
Character Pop! (鸣)

The etymology of characters is not always particularly helpful, but sometimes it is, and it really is useful to know the general principles. However, I’d recommend learning at least a couple dozens of characters without getting into these kinds of details much, even if you’re specifically interested in the etymology. Without that context it is difficult to understand and moreso to apply.



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