As promised, another update. Today’s article will be the first one on kanji etymology.

While going through some kanji flashcards, I noticed the similarity in meaning of the two character 潮 and 汐 – they both mean tide. Just by taking a close look on them, we notice that they are made up of ⺡water and 朝 morning>, and ⺡water and 夕 evening, respectively. Thus literally, they would indicate morning water and evening water. A quick look in Japanese dictionary on Chinese characters as well as another resource confirms this is indeed the correct etymology.

Originally, while 潮 referred to the morning tide, 汐 was the evening tide. Over time, this distinction was lost and 潮 is the character generally used for tide, whether it be in the morning or the afternoon. 汐 has become a now somewhat rarely used character.

Alright, this time the etymology was plain and obvious, but for many characters, it is not going to go so easily.