Associate Professor Chen Dongdong from the School of History and Culture of Central China Normal University was a guest on "Interview". Photo by Xiao Kaishun

  □ Changjiang Daily reporter Chen Jingru and intern Gong Roujia

  Recently, China Central Radio and Television's "2024 Spring Festival Gala" has attracted much attention. The theme of this Spring Festival Gala is "Dragon Roaring, Rejoicing in Home and Country". What does the word "龾龘" mean? What is the meaning behind the words? Associate Professor Chen Dongdong from the School of History and Culture of Central China Normal University was a guest on "Interview" to explain the word "龘" in the literature.

  Reporter: In what book was the word "龘" recorded in the earliest Chinese literature? How was it recorded? What means?

  Chen Dongdong: It is generally believed that this word was first recorded in the "Yupian" written by King Gu Ye of Liang in the Southern Dynasties, China's first regular script dictionary. "Jade Pian·Dragon Department": "龘, dragon moving 龾龾." Describes the way a dragon flies.

  Reporter: How has it evolved since then? In what places has the word "龘" been used?

  Chen Dongdong: Speaking of the evolution of the character "龾", in fact, this character is a variant of the character "龖". It appeared earlier and its origin can be traced back to ancient oracle bone inscriptions. my country's first dictionary "Shuowen Jiezi" included the small seal character "龖" in Chinese characters and interpreted it as "龙飞面", which means the appearance of a flying dragon. Later, the "Kangxi Dictionary" included two forms of "龖" and "龾". The "Dragon Shrine Hand Mirror" of the Liao Dynasty believes that "龖" and "龾" both have the appearance of a dragon flying. In addition to dragon walking, the word "龖" also has the meaning of two dragons. "Yuan Ming Bao Jing Meng Yang" written by Wei Yuansong of the Northern Zhou Dynasty said: "Zhen means the glory of the collision, and the thunder of the thunder." Su Yuanming's biography: "The glory of the collision also means the anger of the two dragons. ." It also has the meaning of shock and terror. The Ming Dynasty School of Wei said: "Two dragons are flying in a cluster, with great power and power, and those who see it will be dazzled by it."

  Reporter: Is there a difference between "龾龘" and "龾"?

  Chen Dongdong: Using two words together is actually the so-called overlapping rhetorical technique. In A Dream of Red Mansions, Lin Daiyu believed that the rhetorical effect of "Warm and warm in the distant village, Yiyi in the smoke in the ruins" in Tao Yuanming's "Returning to the Garden and Field" is "light and ready-made". If warm and Yiyi are separated into single words, it will obviously not have such an effect. Specific to 龾, since it has a sense of majestic power, the superposition of 龾龾 can highlight the feeling of large numbers and majesty, which cannot be replaced by a single word.

  Reporter: Is there any interesting allusion to this word? Why is it the theme of this year’s Spring Festival Gala? How to understand?

  Chen Dongdong: This word is actually not widely used and does not have many interesting allusions. After "Yupian", only a few classics such as "Dragon Shrine Hand Mirror" of Liao Dynasty used it. The first hexagram in the Book of Changes, the Qian hexagram, is related to dragons and their flight. In the Qian hexagram, the ninety-five lines are considered the most auspicious. "Book of Changes Qian Gua": "In the ninth five years, a flying dragon is in the sky, which is beneficial to the appearance of noble people." It means that the dragon flies high in the sky, which means that when it is time to display grand ambitions, it is conducive to the appearance of noble people. This is where the ancient Chinese description of the emperor as the "Nine Five Emperors" comes from. At the same time, there is a sentence in the Qian hexagram of the "Book of Changes", "Use nine, and it is auspicious to see a group of dragons without a leader." It also links "dragon's flight" and "auspiciousness". The use of the Spring Festival Gala mainly considers that Chinese people are the descendants of dragons. The lively and majestic image of flying dragons can better set off the auspicious signs of the "Xinxin Family and Country" and the strong national destiny.

  Reporter: Rare words similar to "龘" include yáo (yáo), zhuàng (zhuàng), mò (mò), xīn (xīn), fēi (fēi), bēn (bēn), biāo (biāo), and xiān ), 羴(shān), etc. Why did the ancients have the "stacked Arhat" style of character creation? Did it first exist during the Oracle period?

  Chen Dongdong: This so-called overlapping Chinese character-making method is actually a combination of pictographic characters in pictographic characters, and they are not necessarily all rare characters. This method of forming characters exists in oracle bone inscriptions. The common characters Lin and Sen have corresponding glyphs in oracle bone inscriptions.

  Specific to the above-mentioned rare characters, this is not necessarily the case. For example, the variant character "龖" mentioned above is found in oracle bone inscriptions, the character Yao is found in "Shuowen Jiezi" of the Han Dynasty, and "壵" comes from the "Zangjing Ziyi" of the Yuan Dynasty, which appears relatively later. In ancient China, especially during the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties and the Yuan Dynasty, variant characters were widely popular. During the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties, despite social turmoil and division, various calligraphy styles intertwined and developed, and variant characters were also developed; while the Yuan Dynasty's relatively loose cultural policy and the development of multiculturalism also promoted the popularity of variant characters.

  Reporter: In today’s society, overlapping words seem to have been given new meanings, such as “people follow the crowd…” reflecting the large number of people. What do you think of this phenomenon?

  Chen Dongdong: This reflects that in the era of the Internet, especially mobile phones, many people are accustomed to looking at text, pictures, and videos on the screen, and reading Chinese characters graphically, while relatively ignoring their phonetic properties and grammatical standards. It can be understood, but it is difficult to understand when reading it, and the grammatical structure of subject, predicate and object is also incomplete. This approach is secretly in line with the original meaning of these combined pictographs, and some netizens like it. It is a very interesting phenomenon.

  Reporter: We live in the digital age. The cultural wave of rare characters set off by the word "龘" has re-experienced the beauty of Chinese characters. Will this inspire us to rethink the value of rare characters in Chinese characters?

  Chen Dongdong: Uncommon characters such as "龘" do have special cultural significance in the special context of the Year of the Dragon, and can stimulate people's interest in learning rare Chinese characters. Of course, it would be good for a modern person to be able to read and write 3,000 common words. The vast majority of students majoring in literature and history may not be able to recognize and write all the traditional Chinese characters included in the "Xinhua Dictionary". And rare characters like "龘" were originally developed late in the Northern and Southern Dynasties, and were not particularly popular in ancient times. It is possible to cultivate it as a hobby, but for ordinary people, there is no need to learn it immediately and systematically, and it is better to leave it to professionals.