A hybridized, disyllabic Sinograph from Hong Kong

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Sok3 Kei1
‘to inhale, ingest, take Ketamine, which is an illegal drug in Hong Kong’

["Ketamine is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss. Other uses include sedation in intensive care and treatment of pain and depression." Source]

We've seen endless examples of polysyllabic characters in Chinese, and we've encountered countless instances of Chinese words composed of Sinitic and extra-Sinitic morphemes or letters, but seldom do we find elements of more than one writing system combined in a single Sinograph.

Most of the new, polysyllabic Sinographs in Hong Kong derive from the creativity of the anti-CCP protesters and dissidents.  This one, however, might be from the drug culture of Hong Kong, unless people are taking it to cope with the trauma and depression induced by the imposition of the National Security Law and other dictatorial, draconian measures imposed by the CCP on the citizens of Hong Kong.

Selected readings

[Thanks to Bob Bauer]


  1. Jim said,

    September 15, 2020 @ 1:49 pm

    Ketamine is used in the states by the police to sedate unruly suspects. I presume that is the origin of this character.

  2. Victor Mair said,

    September 15, 2020 @ 1:52 pm

    Thank you, Jim. I kept waiting so long for someone to make a comment on this most unusual character.

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