xiao4 means 'filial piety'


xiao4 can be broken down into two components . The first component is a non-character that is synonymous with 'old' and the second component is zi meaning 'son' (an infant with arms stretched out). The 'son' under the 'parent' signifies a mutual responsibility between the two generations.

xiao4shun4 means 'show filial obedience' and literally translates as 'filial piety'-'go along with'.

shun4 has the following components . The first one is chuan1 and means 'river' (a picture of water flowing between two banks) while the second one is ye which denotes 'head'. A person who's head points in the direction of the flow 'goes along with no resistance'.

xiao4fu2 means 'mourning dress' and literally translates as 'filial piety'-'clothes'.

fu2 in its modern form has the components . The original meaning and written form were different, where fu2 meant 'serve and be subdued'. In its present form the first component means 'flesh' and the second is a version of the character  pi2 which means 'skin' and therefore that which covers the body and skin is clothing.