Guest Post by Radha
The first time I came across the word 'Qi' was when a friend used it in Scrabble (I challenged it and was heartbroken to find that the English dictionary does actually list this word). I found the word peculiar & interesting for many reasons; the main one being that for a tiny word, it contains such a lot of depth.
'Qi' is the center of Chinese philosophy & traditional medical science, its literal meaning is 'air' or 'breath'; but in Chinese philosophy it represents what in English could be called 'life force'. Its close cousin would be the term 'prana' used in Hindu philosophy.
The etymology of the word is quite simple really: 'Qi' is a mandarin character which comprises of three wavy lines. The written character looks like a person's breath (if one could see it). Hence its use in this context.