The language is Chinese and the word is 'Fook' and it means
fortune/luck/happy. The word 'Fook' is often used at Chinese new year,
on lucky red packets for giving out gifts of money, on greeting cards,
and particulary as a lucky charm where it is appears as a diamond
shaped poster stuck on doors upside down.
It is stuck on upside down as a charm, because in Chinese it means
'Fook Do' meaning 'luck is coming' ('Do' in Chinese also means upside
down, which is phonetically the same as 'come' hence why it is turned
upside down). Anyone displaying their 'Fook' (on a door) the 'correct'
way up is actually displaying it wrongly! It is stuck on a door as the
door is the way into the house (to allow an entrance for the
fortune/happiness to come into the household)
The word 'Fook' is the top word, second banner along on the bottom row
on fatming.com e-commerce site
It is used here to construct the sentence "Fook Sou Hong Ling" meaning
"Wishes for Happiness, Longevity and Good Health"
If you scroll down this page of this geocities site
you will come to a diamond shaped poster with a girl and boy either
side with the word 'Fook' displayed the 'incorrect' way up (it
technically should be upside down).
On this page from Holymtn.com the 'Fook' is displayed the correct way
up (upside down) at the top of the page
Here it is displayed on a wind chime on the 4inspirations.com
Large picture here:
where you can see the 'Fook' word upside down
They way the 'Fook' is written on your reference is more rounded, in
the older style of Chinese calligraphy
"There are also many forms of Chinese calligraphy. Some forms are more
curved, and rounded, while others have fewer strokes to them"
excerpt from Ecoo.org
The 'Fook' also appears on this site in a upside down diamond shape
and you can clearly see the similarities despite the difference in
handwriting. Excerpt from the page "... on most doorways, there is a
red, diamond-shaped piece of paper with the word "Good Fortune"
written on it. Traditionally, it is hung upside down, to give good
fortune to anyone who walks through the doorway."
Looking at your picture at http://www.geocities.com/jonbliss/home.html
The commonalities are the '+' in a box, the square above it, the
horizontal line above that, the top left hand (small) down stroke
'tick' and '7' shape below it.
I recognised the fook, and looked for graphical references.
chinese new year fook
I hope that helps, if you need any clarification of the answer, just
Clarification of Answer by
19 Nov 2002 19:10 PST
many thanks for the tip.
I found a printed 'fortune' word on Robert Liew's site
Item 1827. Fu: Good Fortune.
He also has some limited handwritten words but 'Fook' isn't one in his
A handwritten one on the Chinese Paintings.com site
"Good Fortune Artist: Tang San"
is unfortunately sold, but it would be strange if they did not
replenish their stocks at some point.
This print at art.com of the 'Fook' word
looks a bit 'suspicious' if it is genuine Chinese calligraphy, but
perhaps it is the style.
Two styles of the 'Fook' word on the Green Dragon Arts website, block
style (more rigid) and cursive (more fluid and stylized) CS302 -
referred to as meaning 'prosperity' on this site.
They also accommodate custom orders on this page
'Bliss' has the same sort of meaning as 'happy'?
Merriam-Webster Online ( http://www.m-w.com )
defines bliss as 'Complete Happiness'
.. of course it is a surname too :-)
unstable-ga is right in saying that the exact meaning of 'Fook' or
'Fu' is not exactly happy/luck/fortune, but today that generally is
the meaning adopted and remains a bit vague with prosperity as another
interpretation. But also with an underlying blessed meaning to it, (to
have good fortune, luck and happiness) so 5 descriptions rolled into
one, with perhaps fortune being the stronger element. Certainly with
the addition of the extra word to 'fook' or 'fu', as at Robert Liew's
site ( http://members.rogers.com/tliew0892/origin2.htm ) second
picture down (QIFU: Blessing) means blessing more precisely. On it's
own however, I would tend to lean towards fortune, or good fortune as
described by the sources above, even though it has deviated somewhat.
I hope that helps.