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55 DEFINITION 1. Eight.

55 DEFINITION 1. Eight. 2. All around, abundance. † To separate, divide in half. 八 PRONUNCIATION bā SOUND WORD Bas /ba/ French word for ‘sock.’ MNEMONICS • This character’s ancient definition was to separate, to divide in half. Ancient form: . This meaning is often apparent in other characters and will be used as one of its building block values. • Octopus. We give it the concrete meaning of octopus in some of the stories because an octopus has eight limbs or legs. As a matter of fact, in Chinese, octopus is written with this character (see example). • As a building block, it often appears written as two short legs, like this: . • Horns, horny, devilish. As a building block, it is also written 丷 and appears as such at the top of a character. In that case, it may also mean horns, horny or devilish because of its resemblance to a pair of horns. STORY The octopus’s budget for bas is way too high. It needs an abundance of money because it needs to buy eight socks every time. EXAMPLES 1. 八 带 鱼 (bā dài yú) Octopus. 八 月 (Bā yuè) August. 2. 八 方 (bā fāng) Eight points of the compass, all directions. 七 嘴 八 舌 (qī zuǐ bā shé) To talk all at the same time (an abundance of speakers). 80 八 十

WANT A LITTLE MORE? • Apart from representing the number 8, this character also has the connotation of all around, all sides, all-encompassing. Therefore, it is often associated with abundance and is considered a lucky number by the Chinese. The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics Games in Beijing was held on August 8, 2008 (08/8/8), at 8:08 pm! • This is the 12th of the 214 Kangxi radicals. • Usage frequency: Top 500. 八 十 一 81

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