Time for another Sino-Korean number and its hanja. This time the character is the intricate-looking 四 [사]. However, this little hanja is a bit unlike most other numeral hanja. This one is infrequently used in a few common words seemingly not related to numbers or the order of things. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Hanja #26: 四 – 넉 사
The hanja character 四 [사] is the same as writing the number 4 in a text. Though it ought to be obvious, this character is for the Sino-Korean number 사 only, not the native korean number 넷. Like all the other hanja numerals most of the uses for this one is in regards of counting or ordering things such as months, minutes, etc.
Yet there are a few words that use our little 4 for things non-Koreans wouldn’t see as ordering things. One of those uses we discussed in our very long article on Korean family vocabulary. One of the words we talked about is 사촌 [四寸], cousins. While in Korean this is still ordering things (see 寸 [촌]), non-Koreans won’t see it as such. There are a few other words like that around.
If you happen to know any other word you think has this hanja, let us know in the comments.
Our 四 Vocabulary List
*Meanings written in italics are the meanings when you use the noun as a 하다 verb.