The Father Radical 父: Overview, Mnemonics and Vocabulary

The Father Radical 父: Overview, Mnemonics and Vocabulary

Welcome back to our weekly radical series!

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.

What is the father radical?

In Chinese, the radical for father is pronounced as “fù” and written as . 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 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

Some Chinese learners wonder why the radical doesn’t evoke the image of a man, let alone a father. It’s because this radical was originally an ideographic describing a hand holding an axe 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. 

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What is the stroke order of the radical 父?

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

Source: Visual Mandarin

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How can you memorize the father radical?

Pandanese can help you.

At Pandanese, we employ mnemonics flashcards and  Spaced Repetition System (SRS) to help Chinese learners like you get the most out of your learning. Your Chinese learning journey couldn’t get any easier! Or could it? Have a look at how mnemonics works in this example. 

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:

Character Pinyin English meaning
生父 shēngfù biological father
义父 yìfù foster-father
继父 jìfù stepfather
父母 fùmǔ father and mother, parents
父女 fù nǚ father and daughter
父子 fùzǐ father and son
父老 fùlǎo elders
国父 guófù father of a nation
神父 shénfù Christian priest or clergyman
天父 tiānfù Heavenly Father

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