辈 from chariots to generation

辈 from chariots to generation

辈 is a phono-semantic character. In the seal script, 辈  = (非) + (車). 車 acts as semantic component and 非 phonetic. 

represents ancient chariots. The phonetic component 非 indicates that the chariots are arranged in parallel because  is like a pair of wide-spread wings.  The character 辈 depicts a row of chariots.

The original meaning of 辈 was extended to:

1. people of a certain kind, e.g. 我辈 people like me; 无能之辈 incompetent people

2. generation, e.g. 老一辈 older generation;  他们同辈 They are of the same generation; 老前辈 one’s elder; 晚辈 younger generation; 祖辈 ancestors

3. lifetime 辈子, e.g. 后/前半辈子 second/first half of one’s life

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