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bā zì
n. character 8; birth date characters used in fortune-telling
Simplified stroke orders are based on the 'Standard of National Commonly-used Mandarin Chinese Characters (现代汉语通用字笔顺规范)', issued by the China National Language and Character Working Committee (国家语言文字工作委员会) on April 7th 1997. Traditional stroke orders are based on information issued by the Taiwan Ministry of Education.
bā zì méi yì piě
phr. Not even the first stroke of the character is in sight (means nothing tangible is yet in sight)
bā zì hái méi yì piěr
idiom. (used in north China) things are not even starting to take shape yet; there is no sign of anything happening yet.