Japanese sound for the third character in the h series... Most sounds go xa xi xu xe xo, where x is some consonant such as k, s, m, n, etc. Forgive the mathematical definition... Whereas the k series goes "ka ki ku ke ko", the h series goes "ha hi fu he ho", because of the pronunciation of the character for hu. It's terribly mysterious.

(second Mandarin tone; 13 strokes)

A Chinese character meaning roughly "fortune" or "happiness". The character is a combination of that of "omen" (示) and a phonetic character (高).

During the Chinese New Year (新年) celebration, you'll see 福 written everywhere — in windows, above doors, on calendars, etc. It is the character melodrame refers to in Luck, the inverted Chinese character — see Glowing Fish's fu dao (福到/倒).

It appears in the following phrases:

祝福
zhù fú: to bless
幸福
xìng fú: happiness
口福
kŏu fú: "lucky attainment of good food
祈福
qí fú: to pray for luck
福建
fú jiàn: the Fujian Province
福利
fú lì: welfare

Of course, there are many other characters pronounced this way — 福 is just the one Westerners are more likely to see, especially this January 22. Other definitions that are Romanized to "fu":

: man, husband; sage, distinguished person; artisan; also, an initial particle ("now", "therefore", "however", etc.), a demonstrative pronoun, an adversative particle, a preposition, a final particle, a particle indicating consequence/result, or a pronoun), and the "fu" of gōng fū (工夫): time; work; effort; skill, technique
: to incubate, to hatch (of birds, insects, and fish)
: to spread over
: to spread over, to apply
: skin, flesh; superficial; pork
an inferior type of agate
bran; refuse (n.)
raft (n.)
: to match; symbol, sign, mark, talisman
: a measurement for scrolls and paintings
: to crawl
: bat (animal)
: spoke (of a wheel)
: to steer; to obey, to serve; to take medicine; clothing
: to help; to support with the hand, to prop up
: to have confidence, to trust, to be sincere; to brood over eggs
: to float; to exceed
: to capture, to take captive
: not (adv.)
: brush (n.)
彿 is the "foo" of the foo dog
: to hide; to prostrate
: bundle (n.)
the hibiscus flower
a type of water beetle; money
to sit cross-legged; a Buddhist; to bow
storm (n.)
to agree with
the instep (of a foot); the calyx (of a flower)
raft (n.); drumstick (of a drum)
"The white pellicle lining the culms of a water-plant, from which the meaning of intimate, friendly, related, is derived."²
suburbs; territory
wild duck
a river in 囘川
: government office, official residence, prefecture (also, the officer governing it); a palace; a store-house
: to bow, to bend; to condescend
: rotten, spoiled (of food); corrupt; putrid
: bowels, entrails, internal organs
: axe, hatchet
: to stroke, to rub; to calm, to soothe; to cherish
: man, father
: to assist; the upper jawbone; suburbs; to help, to support, "Poles attached to a cart to keep it from upsetting."²
to pat; to slap
to begin; just now; great, large
dried meat
"Embroidered garments used to indicate rank...."²
: wife, lady
: to hand over; to pay
: to attach, to adhere to, to depend upon; near to
: to instruct; to order, to command
: father, uncle, elderly close relative (i.e. of the same surname)
: assistant, vice-president; to aid, to second
: wealth; wealthy; to enrich
: to return; to recover
: to overturn; to cover; to reply
: abdomen
: garment; complex
: to go to; to attend
: obituary
: teacher, distinguished person; to teach
: to tie, to bind
: to levy, to tax; to diffuse, to spread; also a type of poem ("Irregular, metrical, rhyming composition"²)
: to assume responsibility, to bear, to sustain, to carry on the back; to owe; ungrateful, defeated; negative, minus
: hill
to worship ancestors
aconite (wolf's-bane)
an extra horse added to a team
a type of fish similar to a perch; a large measure of grain
pot, cauldron
to contribute towards funeral expenses
to fall prostrate

You may notice that some different characters have the same meanings; since all the meanings are pronounced similarly (or, in some cases, identically), some characters have adopted alternate meanings.


References:
1: 中文·com: http://www.zhongwen.com/
2: Mathews' Chinese-English dictionary, Revised American Edition (Harvard U. Press: 1960)

I'm slowly learning some (Mandarin) Chinese, but I am by no means fluent. Any corrections or additional information woud be appreciated.

Fu (?), n. [Chin.]

A department in China comprising several hsein; also, the chief city of a department; -- often forming the last part of a name; as, Paoting- fu.

 

© Webster 1913

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