How do I differentiate between "cow" and "noon"?

I have always made some mistakes when doing the test of “cow” or “noon”. I think it would be “cow” but WANIKANI answers it was “noon” and vice verse.
Ooh, I don’t know how to differentiate two words when doing tests.
Give me a hand. Thanks a lot.


I always imagined the part sticking up from 牛, cow, to be a horn. Noon has no horn 午.


Cow 牛’s head pokes up while noon 午 doesn’t have one. That’s what helped me.

Edit: OMG first time I’ve been Leebo’ d


Oh, thanks all so so much. The difference is so clear, then so far it seems I have been blind. Ha ha.
Thanks again.


This was going to be my suggestion, but alas I was Leebo’d…


I imagine the gun radical is sliding on the cross radical. Noon is when the sun is at it’s highest. You can’t get any higher than 午.


There’s going to be a lot like that - you’ll see ‘year’ a lot, which is 年, and eventually you’ll see ‘arrow’ and ‘fault’, which are 矢 and 失 respectively.


Yeah, the WK mnemonics are a little bit useless for those; “a gun on a cross” could describe either one.

I guess, more usefully, WK has 午 derived from 干 plus a “slide”… if you see a bit poking out the top, then it can’t really be using 干. It probably helps a bit more if you know that 平 is similarly derived from 干, so it should be flat on top.

Now I just need to figure out a way to keep track of 申 and 由…


That are two Kanjis I confuse as well, but not because I don’t know, but because I don’t pay enough attention when they come up :confused: … I need to remind myself to go slow when they come up.

With noon I also tend to write “afternoon” instead of noon. Grmbl. Again, because I go to fast and don’t pay attention.


Ugh I messed up 申 and 由 so many times because 申 came up for Master review in the middle of 由 being a new item. Then the next couple times when I knew to look out for it, I still kept remembering them exactly wrong.

I know Tofugu/WaniKani find writing to be somewhat irrelevant, but I wonder if taking time to write out these Kanji on my own would help me to notice some of these minor distinctions.

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Consider shooting them to get clear on this: If you shoot the cow, it may be either by accident or by mistake. The cow moved and the one behind it was struck; shot by accident. It was the neighbor’s cow very like yours; then shot by mistake. Shooting the noon is a navigational exercise to find one’s location at sea and done using a sextant, done for example by Horatio Hornblower. Any of the three can be done after putting your tongue firmly in your cheek.

But if you shoot the neighbor’s cow by mistake, he will become cross with you and push you down a slide into a dry place. At high noon.

Haha! I had the same doubt, I could never get the two right, until i figured out that cow has the head poking out. XD

It’s easy, the horn :sweat_smile:

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