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The Etymology of

You already know that the water.png in means “water.” But that right-hand component is certainly daunting! Let’s break it down to make it manageable.

To the right of water.png we find and , which we usually know as “white” and “to release.” In this case, doesn’t mean “white” but rather acts phonetically to express “beat.” While does mean “release” here, it also has literal connotations of “to strike (a person).” Together, and mean “to strike” or “to beat” and may also phonetically express “to leap.”

Let’s return to the whole character . Originally, it represented “water striking against something,” maybe sending spray leaping into the air. This collision made the water “agitated” or “fierce,” so came to take on those meanings, as well as “intense.”


Santa Cruz, California.



Pacific Grove, California.

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