14 Turn up the heat when it’s cold outside 🔥
Read on for our winter puzzler part deux
Thanksgiving week in the USA has just passed, which means the cold of winter in the northern hemisphere is nigh – or already here. If you’re feeling a little chilly, it can help to grab some fire and warm up.
This is Hanmoji Puzzles, your weekly dose of emoji word puzzles inspired by The Hanmoji Handbook. And don’t worry — you don’t need to speak Chinese at all in order to play along. You just need a love for emoji and be curious about how language works!
🧩 This week’s puzzle
What Chinese character does this emoji combo represent?
Hint 1: What keeps you warm and cozy on a wintry night?
Hint 2: The first emoji gives a strong hint to its meaning — think of hair, fur and thread.
Answer (spoilers ahead!)
💇🏻♀️🔥🔥 stands for 毯, which means blanket, rug or carpet. It’s pronounced tǎn in Mandarin, and taan2 in Cantonese. The big semantic hint is the first part: the Chinese radical 毛 💇🏻♀️, which means fur or hair. And many blankets/rugs/carpets were originally woven with wool.
The two fire radicals (火 🔥) don’t contribute to the meaning of the character. Rather, they are most likely phonetic, as you’ll see them show up in 談/谈 (do you see the two fires on the right?), pronounced tán/taam4, meaning “to chat” or “to talk.” That said, we think it’s useful to imagine the cozy warmth of the fireplace carried over into fur to create a blanket.
🥳 Updates from our parent project, The Hanmoji Handbook
Come see us in New York’s Museum of Chinese in America for a book event and signing on December 9!
We’ve been nominated for a Forest of Reading Yellow Cedar Award. Tell your Canadian grade schoolers (and teachers and librarians) to take a look at the books and vote for their favorites!
Our book is now out — order it now on IndieBound 🇺🇸, Shop Local 🇨🇦, Blackwell’s 🌏, Barnes & Noble 🇺🇸, or Indigo 🇨🇦.
That’s it this week’s 🧩 Hanmoji Puzzles 🧩! Subscribe to receive next week’s puzzle and please forward this email to friends so we can continue this puzzling endeavor.
Hanmoji Puzzles is a spin off of The Hanmoji Handbook: A Guide to Learning Chinese Through Emoji, which you should absolutely order today 😗. This newsletter is a project by Jason Li, An Xiao Mina and Jennifer 8. Lee.