The Father Radical 父: Overview, Mnemonics and Vocabulary

The Father Radical 父: Overview, Mnemonics and Vocabulary

In today’s article, we introduce you to the father radical 父 in Chinese, its stroke orders, and how you can memorize it with our mnemonics flashcard example.

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What is the father radical?

chinese father radical page

Chinese father radical

In Chinese, the radical for father is pronounced as “fù” and written as 父. This radical is composed of 4 strokes and is listed as radical 88 according to the Kangxi radical chart (a system of radicals of Chinese characters). 

According to the Kangxi Dictionary, only 10 characters (out of 49,030) are found under this radical. The number of characters found under father radical 父 is quite low compared to other characters under other radicals. For example, there are estimated that 580 characters have been found under the radical foot 足. 

Some Chinese learners wonder why the radical 父 doesn’t evoke the image of a man, let alone a father. It’s because this radical was originally an ideographic describing a hand 乂 holding an axe 八 which exemplifies the image of a man chopping wood. In ancient times, a father, the head of the family, was responsible for doing such jobs as hunting and chopping wood. 

What is the stroke order of the radical 父?

The father radical has four strokes, written in the following stroke order:

父 stroke order

Chinese father radical gif

How can you memorize the father radical?

Pandanese has created a mnemonic for you to memorize the father radical: This radical means father. When was the last time you told your father you loved him? Call him now!

The father radical is the same the Chinese character for father, and you can memorize the father character as: A father (父) was too eager to show his eight (八) year old his handicraft. A forgotten nail slashed (丿) the kid during play.

You can learn more Chinese vocabulary with Pandanese as it combines Chinese mnemonics and the SRS into one Chinese learning system. It’s the Chinese WaniKani and a great Anki Alternative for you to use. Try it for free!

Father radical vocabulary list for you!

If you see Chinese characters and words with the 父 radical, they will likely have father-related meanings. 

Want to know more about father-related terms? Find characters containing the father radical in the table below:



English meaning



biological father









father and mother, parents


fù nǚ

father and daughter



father and son







father of a nation



Christian priest or clergyman



Heavenly Father

In closing

Anything with the father radical in Chinese gives you some insights to the translation meaning as it will be related to the meaning of man or father. Remember this radical and it will help you understand more complex vocabulary.

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