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what does HYEAEYH stand for?

asked 2015-05-31 03:50:12 -0400

In the Leizhou peninsular China is what seems to be a derelict church with some unique features. One feature is some bold lettering 1.5m x 7.5m, built into the wall, it reads 'HYEAEYH'. I have photos I could forward. It is Palindrome script and last 3 letters EYH are reversed. It's possible the lettering is framed by the letter K 'KHYEAEYHK' (with the last 'K' letter also reversed) or the 'K' could be a architectural feature. The date of the (presumed) church is not clear yet, but I would guess 150 years old. The whole village is derelict but was once a thriving and wealthy merchants village (from the regional sugar trade). There has been missionary work in the area for 400 years and the Catholics church (whom I have also contacted for help) are still active in the area. Any help most welcome.

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answered 2015-05-31 19:37:35 -0400

usagi5886 gravatar image

Just a shot in the dark here, but it almost sounds like it's the word "KHYEA" mirrored, using the midpoint of the capital 'A' as the inflection point, i.e.:

KHYEA + AEYHK (with the K backwards) = KHYEAEYHK

Of course, that begs the question of what KHYEA means. It could be an old spelling for a syllable in Mandarin, cf. the second item in second row of the table at the bottom here:

books.google.com/books?id=Yv9GAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA112#v=onepage&q&f=false

Searching on Google books for the word "khyea" turns up some old books where the word pops up, so you could try that for further detective work.

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The suggestion of a mirrored word is great. I'm still not sure if the word is Khyea or Hyea but words both appear in your reference. Why a 'western' word in a old Chinese home/church? Other homes in the village have large Chinese characters built into the walls so it seems to be a period practise.

bill123 gravatar imagebill123 ( 2015-06-02 02:34:05 -0400 )edit

Well, since we're talking about Mandarin syllables, the word (or syllable) itself is probably not Western. It's just written in a Western way (the Romanized spelling rather than the character). As for why to do *that*, perhaps to make that house "special" and stand out from its neighbors?

usagi5886 gravatar imageusagi5886 ( 2015-06-11 12:05:06 -0400 )edit

The reasoning seems rational until the question 'why do that'. We have a very expensive house, ornate with its numerous arched semi circle (roman) entrances etc, then random english lettering, it just doesn't fit given the culture. Although my chinese friends also suggested its random,

bill123 gravatar imagebill123 ( 2015-06-13 17:14:57 -0400 )edit

can I post photo's?

bill123 gravatar imagebill123 ( 2015-06-13 17:15:42 -0400 )edit
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Asked: 2015-05-31 03:50:12 -0400

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Last updated: May 31 '15