ChineseLandrush.com has been running a series of articles on the meaning and history behind numbers in Chinese culture. The latest post is the number 5.
5: 五; Pinyin: Wǔ
In terms of understanding the meaning of numbers in the Chinese context, the number five is one of the least ambiguous numbers for westerners to understand. Its meaning is fairly straightforward and doesn’t present the same kind of confusion or ambiguity that other numbers seem to carry, like eight or seven.
The best way to describe the number five’s meaning in the Chinese context would be with one word: balance. In ancient Chinese tai chi, the number five lies in the middle of all numbers. In the masculine principle of Yang, five being in the middle symbolizes perpetual balance.
The Mandarin spelling of the number five, as outlined above, is “wǔ.” The Cantonese spelling of the number five is “ng.” The most common, and also one of the most important sound-a-like’s for the number five is “me,” “myself,” and “I.”
- The noun [n.] sound-a-like’s for the number five is: a room, dirt
- The verb [v.] sound-a-like’s for the number five is: to lack, to accuse falsely, to dance, the sound of crying
- The adjective [adj.] sound-a-like’s for the number five is: not to have, none, my, to associate with, disobedient, martial
Read the full article on ChineseLandrush.com