Saturday, October 25, 2008

What is the opposite of 태양(太陽)?

태양(太陽) is the sino-Korean word for "the sun." It literally means "big star." 태(太) means "big," and 양(陽) means "star. 양(陽) can also mean "bright." The pure Korean word for "the sun" is 해.

The opposite of 태양(太陽) is 태음(太陰), which is a sino-Korean word for "the moon." It literally means "big shadow." 태(太) means "big," and 음(陰) means "shade" or "shadow." The pure Korean word for "the moon" is 달.

The Chinese characters 양(陽 - light) and 음(陰 - dark) form the word 음양(陰陽), which refers to the philosophy that everything in the universe has an opposite. The Chinese call it "yin-yang."

Here are more words that use the Chinese characters 음(陰) and 양(陽):
  1. 양력(陽曆) - solar calendar
    음력(陰曆) - lunar calendar
  2. 양지(陽地) - a sunny place
    음지(陰地) - a shady place
  3. 양성(陽性) - positive
    음성(陰性) - negative
  4. 양수(陽數) - a positive number
    음수(陰數) - a negative number
  5. 양극(陽極) - a positive pole (electricity)
    음극(陰極) - a negative pole (electricity)
  6. 양각(陽刻)하다- emboss (carve in relief)
    음각(陰刻)하다 - engrave

If anyone can think of more words, I will add them to the list.


  1. I got confused by 태평양(太平洋) the Pacific (Ocean)... thiknking that had something to do with the sun, but I was mistaken.

  2. To the owner of his blog, I salute you. Your knowledge of the Chinese character is so vast and I am sure you have spent much time studying and mastering it.

    I am currently studying Korean and hope to be able to speak it fluently in 1-2 years time.

    I am proud to say that studying Korean has in fact helped me in better understanding the Chinese language through the understanding of old usage of the Chinese language. What you are doing is indeed an inspiration to me=)Perhaps I might set up a similar blog some day....some day...


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