Without pens and ink, communication in any language would be significantly limited – in modern times for sure, but even more so in past centuries. This week our word of the week is 笔 – ‘pen’.
笔 is pronounced bǐ.
The character 笔 (bǐ) was first seen in the Oracle bone script during the Shang Dynasty. Its meaning is pen or Chinese brush.
This traditional form of the character 笔(bǐ) is “筆”, which is a combination of two characters: the character 聿(yù), which represents a hand grasping a thin, vertical writing brush, combined with an abbreviated form of the character 竹 (zhú), “bamboo,” from which calligraphic brushes were made in ancient China.
一笔勾销 （yì bǐ gōu xiāo）
Literally: to write off in one stroke. Meaning: all canceled.
下笔如神 （xià bǐ rú shén）
Literally: Write like an angel. Meaning: Write quickly and powerfully.
钢笔（gāng bǐ ）
Meaning: fountain pen.