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53 DEFINITION Four. PRONUNCIATION sì 四 SOUND WORD Confessor A priest who listens to a person's confession in a confessional. MNEMONICS COMPONENTS 囗 ENCLOSURE 42 + 儿 HUMAN LEGS52 child A pair of HUMAN LEGS sticking out from under the curtain inside the ENCLOSURE of a confessional equipped with four booths. See story. STORY This confessor is quite speedy and can tackle four penitents at the same time. So, they built him a confessional with four booths instead of two. You can see the HUMAN LEGS of the penitents in the ENCLOSURE of each bay, appearing under the curtain. EXAMPLES 四 肢 (sì zhī) Four limbs. 四 月 (sì yuè) April. WANT A LITTLE MORE? • Because this character sounds like the character for death, 死 (sǐ), Chinese people try to avoid this number at all costs. In fact, many buildings in China do not have a fourth floor. And if your phone number happens to be 444-4444, well, we wish you good luck! • Usage frequency: Top 500. 78 七 十 八

54 DEFINITION Five. PRONUNCIATION wǔ 五 MNEMONICS SOUND WORD Woolahoop A special flexible hoop (made of wool) that you twirl around the waist. A variant of the Hula hoop. The character looks like a person under a ceiling, standing on two legs in the center of a woolahoop lying on the floor, ready to pick it up and start twirling. STORY “This person is a star of the woolahoop! She can twirl non-stop for five hours straight! That’s got to be a world record!” EXAMPLES 五 金 (wǔ jīn) Five principal metals (gold, silver, copper, tin, iron). 五 行 (wǔ xíng) Five primary elements. 五 角 (wǔ jiǎo) Pentagon. 五 月 (wǔ yuè) May. WANT A LITTLE MORE? • The ancient character showed the interconnection between heaven and earth (the two horizontal lines). The X in the middle represented the five primary elements composing the physical universe according to the ancients, that is, metal, wood, water, fire and earth. • Usage frequency: Top 500. 七 十 九 79

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