Get Out the 投票!

Source: Google Doodle November 6-7, 2016

Today’s get-the-vote-out Google Doodle features the Chinese word 投票 tóu piào that means—you guessed it—vote.

投 tóu means to throw, to cast. And 票 piào is a ticket or a ballot. To vote 投票 tóu piào is to cast 投 tóu a ballot 票 piào.

Building on 投票 tóu piào:

  • Add 箱 xiāng (box) and you get ballot box—投票箱 tóu piào xiāng.
  • Add 者 zhě (meaning “one who”) and you get voter—投票者 tóu piào zhě (“one who votes”).
  • Add 站 zhàn (station) and you get voting station—投票站 tóu piào zhàn.


More on 投 and 票

Notice the short form of the hand radical 扌shǒu is on the left side in 投 tóu.  It suggests both the sound (shǒu rhymes with tóu) and the meaning (you use your hand to throw).

Family Tree for 投 tóu (Source: Character DNA,

Source: Character DNA,

票 piào combines the radicals 西 xī (west) on top and 示 shì (to show to reveal) on the bottom. 票 piào is found in two other characters—漂 piāo (to float, to drift) and 飘 piāo (to float in air)—where it provides the sound.

Family Tree for 票 piào (Source: Character DNA,

Source: Character DNA,

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